Myocardial infarction alert: Sex kills, also quite a bit of fun

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(CBS) Sex can kill you, especially if you don't have enough of it.

That's the screwy lesson from a new study which says that for out-of-shape folks, sporadic strenuous activity, like sex, is associated with a 2.7 times increase in the risk of myocardial infarction (doctor speak for heart attack).

"Anecdotal evidence has suggested that physical activity, as well as other acute exposures, such as sexual activity and psychological stress, can act as triggers of acute cardiac events," the study authors wrote.

That's a bummer, but there's a fun cure - more sex.

Turns out, it's the sporadic part that's a problem. If you are getting enough physical exercise (and sex can help here) then your risk of getting into trouble while getting into trouble goes way down.

The researchers, led by Dr. Issa J. Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, found that your chance of getting a heart attack during physical activity goes down 45 percent for every additional time you do physical activity that week.

And this funny business is actually serious business. Americans have more than one million heart attacks each year. Coronary heart disease remains the nation's leading cause of death, according to the American Heart Association.

The scientists, who combined results from 14 studies involving more than 6,000 patients, caution that the overall chance of sex leading to a heart attack is very low. But could you possibly have a better excuse for hitting that treadmill?

The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

  • Neil Katz

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