An active sex life might improve your longevity. That’s the conclusion of a long-running Israeli study of heart attack survivors (American Journal of Medicine, online, July 8, 2019). Those who had sex more often had better survival rates over the next decade or so. 

How Did the Study Work?

Between February 15, 1992 and February 15, 1993, 1,120 men and women who survived a first heart attack were recruited into this prospective trial. They provided the investigators data about their sexual activity frequency at the time of their initial hospitalization. Five years later they answered more questions about their sex lives. The final interview occurred between 10 and 13 years after the initial heart attack.

Patients who reported having some sex at the beginning of the study were 8% less likely to die during the study period than those who said they’d not had sex during the year prior to the heart attack. People who had sex weekly were 12% less likely to succumb during the same period. Those who engaged in sexual intercourse more than once a week did the best. They were 27% less likely to die than the no-sex group.

After the Heart Attack, Some People Had Sex More Often Than Others:

After a heart attack, people are sometimes afraid to have sex. Those survivors who had sex more often after their heart attacks were roughly 37% less likely to die during the follow-up period than subjects who abstained.

There were other differences that had to be taken into account. People who were sexually active were more likely to have a partner, were more likely to exercise and were healthier overall. As a consequence, the researchers had to adjust for the effects of those beneficial factors. In summary, though, the investigators hypothesize that regular sexual activity may itself affect human physiology in ways that could lead to longer life.

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