St George’s University: Even Young People Can Be Affected by Sudden Death during Sex

Is it possible to die of a heart attack during sex? British researchers have reported that dying during sex is still rare, but it is not just a phenomenon that affects the elderly but in fact, can affect much younger individuals of both genders.

Heart Monitoring

Heart Monitoring

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Sudden cardiac death can occur under a variety of circumstances, including during sports and sexual intercourse according to a study published January 12 in the journal JAMA Cardiology.  To look into the issue further the researchers conducted the study to see if the belief that only older people who tend to have more health problems are more likely to die of a heart attack during sex is true. To answer this question, the researchers examined 6,847 cases of sudden death for whom the data was collected by Saint George’s University in London between the years 1994 and 2020.  They defined Sudden cardiac death as death that took place within 12 hours for no apparent reason.

Rare cases of sudden cardiac death during sex

Of the sudden deaths analyzed, 17 occurred during or within an hour of sexual intercourse. “Sudden cardiac death during intercourse represented a small proportion of the deaths,” the researchers said.

The deaths studied were not caused by heart attacks. In nine people, death was caused by a sudden abnormal heart rhythm that led to sudden arrhythmic death syndrome. In two people, the cause was a dissection of the aorta. This is a condition in which the inner layer of the aortic wall tears and detaches from the middle layer of the aortic wall. The other cases of sudden death were due to structural abnormalities or a rare group of genetic diseases known as ductopathies.

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The average age at the moment of death was estimated at 38 years

According to the results, the average age of those who died during sex was 38 years, and most of those who died were men. However, we found that the number of women who died was significantly higher than in previous studies,” the scientists said. “This difference is probably related to the age difference, because we included men with a mean age of 38 years at death, whereas the other studies included older men in whom one would expect a higher prevalence of coronary heart disease,” they added.

Final thoughts

Sexual activity is physically demanding and just like any physical sport requires that a person has good cardiovascular health.  Therefore living a healthy lifestyle where tobacco and alcohol are avoided will help keep your sexual life healthy in the long term.


Association of Sexual Intercourse With Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Individuals in the United Kingdom



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