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Sexual Activity Tied to Long-Term Survival After Heart Attack

Maintaining sexual activity in first six months after heart attack linked to one-third lower death risk


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Resumption of sexual activity after acute myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with improved long-term survival, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Gali Cohen, from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues examined the association between resumption of sexual activity frequency following MI and long-term survival. The analysis included 495 sexually active patients aged ≤65 years participating in the longitudinal Israel Study of First Acute Myocardial Infarction (initial hospitalization 1992 to 1993).

The researchers found that patients who maintained/increased sexual activity frequency (53 percent) were more likely to be of higher socioeconomic status and to express lower levels of depression versus patients who abstained/decreased. During a median follow-up of 22 years, 43 percent of patients died, but maintaining/increasing sexual activity frequency was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.65; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.48 to 0.88) versus abstaining/reducing. This association was even more pronounced for noncardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.56; 95 percent CI, 0.36 to 0.85) than cardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.90; 95 percent CI, 0.53 to 1.51).

"Resumption of sexual activity frequency within the first months after MI was strongly associated with improved long-term survival, highlighting the need for sexual counselling shortly after MI," the authors write.

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