MI survivors live longer if they have an active sex life

A study out of Israel has concluded heart attack survivors with an active sex life are better off than their less-active counterparts in the years following an MI, Reuters Health reported August 1.

The decades-long study, which enrolled 1,120 men and women who were 65 years old or younger at baseline, found that compared to patients who reported not having sex at all in the year before their heart attack, those who reported having intercourse more than once a week were 27% less likely to die in the 22 years following their event. Patients who had sex once a week were 12% less likely to die; those who reported having “some sex,” but not often, were 8% less likely.

“Not surprisingly, the people who were sexually active were more likely to be in a relationship, were younger and generally healthier,” Andrew Steptoe, of University College London, told Reuters. Steptoe wasn’t involved in the study.

He said it’s also possible that being sexually active is a sign of better health rather than a cause of it, but it’s hard to know since this study wasn’t designed to determine whether or how sex might prolong MI victims’ lives.

“Sexual activity is often part of a close and loving relationship as people age, but the relationship is probably more important than the sex,” Steptoe said. “Although sex is part of healthy aging, people should not feel that they ‘ought’ to have sex in order to try to live longer.”

Read the full report below: