Abstract 16084: Sexual Activity as a Trigger for Sudden Cardiac Death
Background: Sexual activity is an important aspect of quality of life, and is associated with health and mortality benefit. However, sexual activity may also act as a trigger of acute coronary events. There are no existing studies that have evaluated sexual activity as a potential trigger of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the community.
Objective: To evaluate the burden of SCA triggered by sexual activity in the general population, and to perform a detailed characterization of affected patients.
Methods: All >18-year-old SCA cases were prospectively collected and adjudicated 2002-15 in a Northwestern US community (population approx. one million), and lifetime medical records were reviewed in detail for demographic and clinical data. Cardiac arrest circumstances were analyzed from the pre-hospital care reports, and all SCA cases that occurred during or within 1h of sexual intercourse were considered as related to sexual activity.
Results: During the study period, a total of 4557 SCAs were identified, of which 34 (0.7%) were linked to sexual activity (SEX-SCA). 18 of these SCAs occurred during and 15 immediately after sexual activity. Annual incidence of SEX-SCA was 0.28 per 100,000. 32 (94%) of SEX-SCA cases were male. Among men, SEX-SCA was responsible for 1.0% of overall SCA burden, compared with 0.1% among women. Individuals with SEX-SCA were younger (60.3 ± 10.6 vs 65.2 ± 16.3 years, p=0.01; age range 34 - 83), and more likely African American (19% vs 8%, p=0.02) than other SCA cases. Cardiac comorbidities and medications were common in both groups with no significant differences. SEX-SCA was more likely to present with ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia than other SCA (76% vs. 45%; p<0.001), but only one-third received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation. No significant differences in survival were observed between the groups.
Conclusions: The absolute risk of SCA triggered by sexual activity was low, with the clear majority of cases confined to men. These findings have important implications for both cardiac patients and health care providers, and will inform discussions on the safety of engaging in sexual activity.
Author Disclosures: A. Aro: None. C. Rusinaru: None. A. Uy-Evanado: None. H. Chugh: None. K. Reinier: None. E. Stecker: None. J. Jui: None. S.S. Chugh: Employment; Significant; NIH. Research Grant; Significant; NIH. Other; Significant; Boston Scientific and Medtronic.
- © 2017 by American Heart Association, Inc.