Heart attack survivors might worry about any exertion too soon after their attack. But new research suggests that there’s at least one activity that might be beneficial.
A new study out of Israel claims that getting back to “getting busy” in the months after a heart attack could boost survival rates. It’s not because of the effort, but because of what it does for your mindset.
Lead researcher Yariv Gerber, Head of the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University, said:
“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.”
The researchers gathered data on nearly 500 sexually active people aged 65 or under who were hospitalized for a heart attack in either 1992 or 1993. In follow up over a median of 22 years, 43% of the patients died. But those who’d maintained or increased the frequency of intimate relationships during the six months after their heart attack had a 35% lower risk of death than those who had not.
The correlation doesn’t prove that having sex improves your odds of survival, but hey, why risk it?
“Improved physical fitness, stronger spouse relations, and a mental ability to ‘bounce back’ from the initial shock of the event within a few months are among the possible explanations for the survival benefit observed among the maintained/increased group.”
Unfortunately, the study doesn’t translate to women, who represented only 10% of the study.