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Health insurance site encourages heart attack survivors to speak to doctors about sex fears


A recent study has drawn attention to the large number of people who are scared of having sex following a heart attack, prompting ( to release a statement encouraging those with heart problems to speak to doctors to allay their fears.

A team of US researchers questioned 1,700 heart attack survivors and discovered that around a third reported they were less likely to be having more sex a year on from the date of their attack. Many reported that the fear that sex could kill them was a major factor in deciding to abstain, the researchers told the American Heart Association.

The study was led by Dr Stacy Tessler Lindau, who explained that the chance of suffering subsequent attacks during sex were very small, as long as it is at an appropriate time in the recovery process – an opinion also backed by the British Heart Foundation.

Most patients should be able to resume sexual activity at the same time as they become physically able to partake in moderate exercise, such as climbing a flight of stairs.

The research also found that the patients who were not counselled in sex by their doctors were more likely to avoid it. This news has prompted health insurance comparison site to issue a statement encouraging patients to speak to their doctors about all of their concerns. It said: "While it may be the last thing on the minds’ of patients immediately after a heart attack, it’s natural for questions concerning sex to arise as recovery progresses.

“However, by this point, many people may feel they aren’t able to go back to their doctor, or be too shy to raise the question. It’s very important that people feel confident in seeking information and speaking to medical professionals about sex after serious health scares, and this study highlights the importance of doctors making sure patients are well informed of all of the facts from the outset.”

The study, which examined the sex lives of 1,184 men and 576 women in the year following a heart attack, found that patients who had been given a leaflet about sex when they were discharged from hospital were more likely to resume their sex life.

It was also found that less than half of the men surveyed and around a third of the women had spoken to their doctor about sex, reported the BBC. Following their heart attacks, 40 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women discussed their sex life with their doctor.

It is extremely unlikely that sex will trigger a heart attack, even if the patient has previously suffered one, and health insurance comparison ( site says extra effort must be made to ensure this message is spread effectively. A spokesperson said: "The importance of sex to the individual varies from person to person, but for many it is part of a healthy and happy life.

“All patients should seek advice from their doctors and be provided with all of the information they need to help them enjoy life to the full.”


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