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Maximum Heart Rate Lower During Sex Than Exercise

Maximum blood pressure also lower

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Sexual activity results in a lower maximum heart rate and blood pressure than treadmill exercise in adult men and women, according to study findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Sebastian T. Palmeri, M.D., from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, N.J., and colleagues compared heart rate and blood pressure during treadmill exercise and sexual activity in 19 men (mean age 55 years) and 13 women (mean age 51 years).

The researchers found that the mean treadmill times were shorter than mean sexual activity times, and the average measurements during sexual activity were lower than those taken during exercise. For men, the average maximum heart rate and systolic blood pressure during sexual activity were 72 and 80 percent of that during exercise, while the respective percentages for women were 64 and 75 percent. There was an inverse correlation between age and duration of exercise and sexual activity.

"In conclusion, sexual activity provides modest physical stress comparable with stage II of the standard multistage Bruce treadmill protocol for men and stage I for women," Palmeri and colleagues conclude.

The study was supported by an independent medical grant from Pfizer.

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