When we think of sexual activity most people think of prolonging life rather than shortening life. For humans, sexual activity seems to be beneficial, for example, studies show that sex can be protective against breast cancer.
What about for heart health? What if someone has already had a cardiovascular event, should they be active or would it be better to refrain? Is sexual activity healthy or can it lead to an early grave?
Type of Sex
Being what many people would call promiscuous in sex can contribute to many health problems. Despite the best efforts of scientists, HIV is still a major concern along with other illnesses like the human papillomavirus which has been associated with cervical, anal and vaginal cancers.
Despite this risk, many people still engage in this type of risky behavior. Modern medicine has come along way in extending the life of individuals who have contracted HIV and the use of contraception in many countries has reduced the risk somewhat. However, using a contraceptive is no guarantee of not contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Heart Disease and Sexual Activity
Most researchers will readily tell you that being active is part of reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease. Sexual activity is part of being active. One study consisting of 536 participants analyzed their sexual activity and compared it to their cardiovascular health. Couples who had sex more than once a week had a 56% lower incident of cardiovascular events compared to couples who had sex once a week or less.
For example, one study found that men who had sex twice a week or more were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who had sex once a month or less. Research like this typically focuses on men because more men have heart disease. But we generally apply the same reasoning to women, too.
There has been some concern that sexual activity might trigger a cardiovascular event. However, researchers found that a small percentage of individuals reported an incident associated with sexual activity.
Another study looked at individuals who had experienced a heart attack. Those who engaged in sexual activity one month after a heart attack at a 2.1% mortality rate. The mortality rate for those who were inactive regarding sexual activity after a heart attack was 4.1%.
According to a new scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association, it is probably safe to have sex if your cardiovascular disease has stabilized. “Sexual activity is a major quality of life issue for men and women with cardiovascular disease and their partners,” said Glenn N. Levine, M.D., lead author of the statement and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.Cardiovascular events — such as heart attacks or chest pain caused by heart disease — rarely occur during sexual activity, b
Sexual activity that does not involve risky behavior appears to be good for your cardiovascular system according to this research.
Note: As discussed in the Life Extension protocol…
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