Although the sex-induced heart attack is a staple of fiction (I’m looking at you, Downton Abbey), in real life it’s quite rare. That’s reinforced by a study from Dietrich Rothenbacher and his research team at Germany’s Ulm University, which found that only a tiny fraction of patients (0.7%) said they were having sex in the hour before their heart attacks.

Rothenbacher’s study also followed 536 patients (mostly male) with coronary heart disease for a decade after their initial heart attacks, and found no evidence that resuming sex made them more likely to have a second heart attack. If recovering patients are able to take a short brisk walk without ill effects, they can probably have sex safely.

[Rothenbacher et al. 2015]

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