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Study: Heart Attack Sufferers Don't Need To Fear Having Sex

(CBS) — A new study reveals that people who have suffered heart attacks don't need to fear having sex.

HealthDay reports that researchers from Ulm University in Germany found that sexual activity is not a risk for future heart problems.

The study reviewed data from 536 heart disease patients between the ages of 30 and 70. In questionnaires filled out by the participants, nearly 15 percent did not have sex in the months leading up to their heart attack, almost 5 percent had sex less than once per month, about 25 percent had sex less than once a week, and 55 percent had sex at least once weekly.

According to HealthDay, the German researchers analyzed the patients' sexual activity in the 12 months prior to their heart attack, while estimating the link between the frequency they had sex with future heart-related events.

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Researchers found that one hundred participants had adverse heart events in the 10 years of follow-up, but that sexual activity was not a risk for future heart problems. The study found that 0.7 percent of participants reported sex within an hour before their heart attack, while 79 percent said their last sexual encounter occurred more than 24 hours before their heart attack.

"Based on our data, it seems very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger of heart attack," study author Dr. Dietrich Rothenbacher said in a press release to HealthDay. "Less than half of men and less than a third of women are getting information about sexual activity after heart attack from their doctors. It is important to reassure patients that they need not be worried and should resume their usual sexual activity."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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