If you’re an older man who’s in a relationship (or not) and you enjoy sex on a regular basis, you have doubled the chance to have a heart attack. Once or twice a week not only increases the risk for a heart attack, but also for any other cardiovascular event, such as stroke.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, older men who have sex at least once a week have twice the risk for a heart attack compared to those who are less sexually active. What’s worse is if the sex is really good.
The study, which was performed at the Michigan State University, surveyed 2,204 people who are enrolled in the project known as National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project in the US. Both men and women from 57 to 85 years of age who were involved in partnered relationships were analyzed and asked about their satisfaction in bed, along with its frequency and their health status. The survey was first done in 2005 and then they were asked once again after five years.
More importantly, the participants’ cardiovascular health was recorded. Everyone was asked to have their numbers for the following documented:
- Elevated C-reactive protein
- Heart attack history
- Blood pressure
- Pulse or heart rate
- Stroke history
- Heart failure
The analysis discovered that great sex is not good for older men, but those who only had sex one to three times every month and complained about the activity as less pleasurable for them had no increase in their heart disease risk. On the other hand, their female partners had a different result. Women who had frequent and satisfying sex had lower blood pressure levels. As we all know, hypertension or high blood pressure is a common precursor to the development of heart disease.
Does This Mean Mediocre Sex is Good for the Heart?
The study may confuse a lot of people, especially those who have read about the health benefits of sex. The widely-held assumption that having sex is good for our health is being challenged by this new study. However, the researchers stated that it is simply important that older people realize that there are potential risks of sex, but it still offers benefits.
Nevertheless, experts advise people to take the study with grain of salt since it is not a clinically controlled trial. One reason why sex might contribute to heart disease is the fact that many older men suffer from erectile dysfunction and some of them find the act as stressful. They find it difficult to reach an orgasm for emotional or medical reasons and this can create more problems on their health, particularly on their cardiovascular system.