A heart attack doesn’t have to end your sex life

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After surviving a heart attack, it makes sense that people want to avoid any activity that could cause their ticker to falter again. Yet, as the Associated Press reports, according to new research presented this week at a conference of the American Heart Association in Washington, D.C., because of lack of information about their risk, heart attack survivors may needlessly extend this precaution to their sex lives — avoiding intimacy altogether out of cardiovascular concern — when a simple conversation with their doctor could clarify whether they’re fit for nooky.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, included 1,184 men and 576 women who had survived a heart attack. Researchers found that fewer than half of the men and only a third of women said they’d had sex since the heart attack. Yet patients who had discussed sexual activity with their doctors — as part of their health instructions upon leaving the hospital or in a later conversation with their physician — were 30% to 40% more likely to have active sex lives following a heart attack.

As study author Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau told the AP, for heart attack survivors:

“If you can walk up two flights of stairs or do moderate exercise, then it’s OK to have sex.”

Read the full AP story here.