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Sex has many benefits Physical and psychological effectsIncluding lowering blood pressure, improving the immune system and helping you sleep better.

The physical activity of sex and orgasm produces the hormone oxytocin, which is called the love hormone, which is important for building. Trust and connection between people.

But there is a dark side: people sometimes die during sex or shortly after. The event, thankfully, is extremely understated and distinctive. 0.6 percent Of all sudden death cases.

are there Many reasons Why does this happen to people? In most cases, they are caused by the physical stress of sexual activity or the use of prescription drugs (drugs to treat erectile dysfunction) or illegal drugs such as cocaine. or both.

The risk of sudden cardiac death increases as people age. Forensic Postmortem study Of the 32,000 sudden deaths in Germany over 33 years, 0.2 percent were due to sexual activity.

Sudden death occurred mostly in men (average age 59 years) and most frequently occurred in a heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction. Studies of sudden cardiac death and sexuality US, France And South Korea Show similar findings.

It’s not just middle-aged men

However, recently researchers from St. George’s University of London found that this phenomenon is not limited to middle-aged men.

The study, that is Published in JAMA CardiologyIt examined 6,847 cases of sudden cardiac death referred to St. George’s Cardiovascular Center between January 1994 and August 2020.

Of these, 17 (0.2 percent) occurred during or within an hour of sexual activity. The average age of death was 38 years and 35 percent occurred in women, which is higher than previous studies.

These deaths are not usually caused by heart failure, as is the case in the elderly. Half (53 percent) of the hearts had structurally normal and sudden cardiac death syndrome or sudden cardiac death. Sad It was the cause of death.

Aortic dissection It was the second largest factor (12 percent). This is because the layers in the wall of the large artery that supply the blood around the body and the blood that flows between the layers swells and bursts.

The remaining cases are due to structural defects Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease that causes the heart to pump blood to the rest of your body) or a group of rare genetic conditions channelopathies.

This is where the ion channels that allow sodium and potassium to move in and out of cells in the heart muscle are not working properly. The change in sodium and potassium in the cells changes the flow of electricity through the heart muscle and changes the way it beats.

An irregular heartbeat can cause a lack of oxygen (myocardial ischemia) and can cause sudden cardiac arrest where the heart stops beating.

This new study suggests that sudden cardiac death in people under the age of 50 is mainly due to arrhythmic death syndrome or cardiomyopathies.

Young adults diagnosed with these conditions should seek advice from their cardiologist about the risks associated with sexual activity.

However, the low mortality in these studies suggests that the risk is very low – even in people with existing heart disease.The Conversation

David C. GazeSenior Lecturer in Chemical Pathology, University of Westminster.

This article was reprinted from The conversation Under a Creative Commons license. Read Original article.

An earlier version of this article was published in January 2022.