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Experts say sexual activity can improve chances of heart attack survival over following two decades

It’s been portrayed in movies as a way of triggering a heart attack.

But experts now say lovemaking can actually boost the chances of survival.

The 2003 Jack Nicholson film Something’s Gotta Give showed his music mogul character rushed to hospital after suffering an attack as he began to make love.

However, a study has found having an active sex life in the months after a heart attack is linked with a 35 per cent lower risk of death over the next two decades.

A study has found having an active sex life in the months after a heart attack is linked with a 35 per cent lower risk of death over the next two decades (stock image)

A study has found having an active sex life in the months after a heart attack is linked with a 35 per cent lower risk of death over the next two decades (stock image)

A total of 495 patients aged 65 or under who suffered a first heart attack were asked how often they had sex in the six months afterwards. 

They were divided into two groups – those who reduced lovemaking and those who maintained an active sex life. 

During an average follow-up of 22 years, 211 patients – 43 per cent – had died. But the risk of death was around one-third lower in the group who carried on having sex. 

Professor Yariv Gerber of Tel Aviv University in Israel, who carried out the research, said: ‘Some patients hesitate to resume sexual activity for long periods after a heart attack.

The 2003 Jack Nicholson film Something¿s Gotta Give (pictured) showed his music mogul character rushed to hospital after suffering an attack as he began to make love

The 2003 Jack Nicholson film Something’s Gotta Give (pictured) showed his music mogul character rushed to hospital after suffering an attack as he began to make love

‘Sexuality and sexual activity are markers of well-being. 

‘Resumption of sexual activity soon after a heart attack may be a part of one’s self-perception as a healthy, functioning, young and energetic person. 

‘This may lead to a healthier lifestyle generally.’ 

Lucy Martin, of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘Sex can feel like a taboo subject after having a heart attack. 

‘But it is important to remember sex is no more likely to trigger a heart attack – or other heart problems – than any other form of physical activity that gets your heart rate up and blood pumping.’

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