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Why some people die during sex, the famous doctor discovers the causes, young people are also at risk
Written by SOT.COM.AL 28 Janar 2022
Sex has many beneficial physical and psychological effects, including lowering high blood pressure, improving the immune system, and improving sleep quality.
The physical act of sex and orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin , the so-called love hormone, which is important in building trust and connection between people.
However, there is a dark side: people sometimes die during or immediately after sex. The incidence is, thankfully, extremely low and accounts for only 0.6 percent of all sudden deaths.
There are many reasons why this happens to people. In most cases, it is caused by the physical strain of sexual activity, or by prescription drugs (drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, for example), or illegal drugs, such as cocaine, or both.
The risk of any sudden cardiac death is higher as people get older. A postmortem forensic study from Germany of 32,000 sudden deaths over a 33-year period found that 0.2 percent of cases occurred during sexual activity.
Sudden death occurred mainly in men (average age 59 years) and the most common cause was heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction . Studies of sudden cardiac death and sexual activity from the US, France, and South Korea show similar findings.
Not only middle-aged men are at risk
Recently, however, researchers at St George’s , University of London, discovered that this phenomenon is not limited to middle-aged men.
The study, which is published in JAMA Cardiology, investigated sudden cardiac death in 6,847 cases referred to the St George's Center for Cardiac Pathology between January 1994 and August 2020.
Of these, 17 (0.2 percent) occurred either during or within one hour after sexual activity. The mean (mean) age of death was 38 years and 35 percent of cases occurred in women, which is higher than in previous studies.
Këto vdekje zakonisht nuk shkaktoheshin nga sulmet në zemër, siç ndodhte tek burrat e moshuar. Në gjysmën e rasteve (53 përqind), zemra rezultoi të ishte strukturalisht normale, por një ritëm anormal i papritur i zemrës i quajtur sindromi i vdekjes së papritur aritmike ose SADS ishte shkaku i vdekjes.
Diseksioni i aortës ishte shkaku i dytë më i madh (12 përqind). Kjo ndodh kur shtresat në murin e arteries së madhe së zemrës, e cila furnizon trupin me gjak – grisen dhe gjaku rrjedh midis shtresave duke bërë që ajo të fryhet dhe të shpërthejë.
Rastet e tjera ishin për shkak të anomalive strukturore të tilla si kardiomiopatia (një sëmundje e muskulit të zemrës që e bën më të vështirë për zemrën të pompojë gjak në pjesën tjetër të trupit tuaj), ose nga një grup i rrallë kushtesh gjenetike të njohura si kanalopati.
Këtu kanalet jonike që lejojnë natriumin dhe kaliumin të hyjnë dhe të dalin nga qelizat në muskulin e zemrës nuk funksionojnë siç duhet. Ndryshimi i natriumit dhe kaliumit në qeliza mund të ndryshojë rrymën elektrike përmes muskulit të zemrës dhe të ndryshojë mënyrën se si ajo rreh.
Një ritëm i ndryshuar i zemrës mund të shkaktojë mungesë oksigjeni (ishemia e miokardit) dhe mund të çojë në një arrest të papritur kardiak ku zemra ndalon së rrahuri.
This new study suggests that sudden cardiac death in people under the age of 50 is primarily due to arrhythmic or cardiomyopathic sudden death syndrome.
Younger adults who have been diagnosed with these conditions should seek advice from their cardiologist about the risk associated with sexual activity.
However, the low incidence of death in these studies suggests that the risk is very low - even in people with pre-existing heart disease.
David C Gaze, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Pathology, University of Westminster. This article was republished by The Conversation, under a Creative Commons license.