March 22nd, 2011
Good News And Bad News About Physical And Sexual Activity and Cardiac Events
The bad news is that physical and sexual activity can trigger acute cardiac events. The good news is that the immediate increase in risk becomes much smaller with more frequent activity, and the long-term overall benefits of activity remain unchallenged. These are the key findings of a meta-analysis by Issa Dahabreh and Jessica Paulus published in JAMA of 14 case-crossover studies.
The authors write that their “results are not incompatible with the well-established beneficial effect of regular physical activity on the risk of acute coronary events: active individuals are overall at a lower risk of such events compared with inactive individuals; however, during the short time period of acute exposure to physical or sexual activity, an individual’s risk of an event is increased compared with unexposed periods of time.”
Their findings, they write, suggest “that physicians counseling patients regarding their exercise habits may need to tailor their advice to the patients’ habitual activity levels: sedentary individuals should be counseled to increase the frequency and intensity of physical activity gradually.”