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May 8, 1996

Sexual Activity Triggering Myocardial Infarction: One Less Thing to Worry About

Author Affiliations

From the Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.

JAMA. 1996;275(18):1447-1448. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530420075041

Contemporary therapy for acute myocardial infarction (MI), including thrombolytic and other adjunctive drug therapies1 and direct percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty,2 has dramatically lowered the short-term mortality from this condition. Moreover, lipid-lowering drug therapy, aspirin, and β-blockers,3 as well as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for left ventricular dysfunction,4 given in the postacute phase, have decreased not only the rate of reinfarction and death but also the rate of rehospitalization for unstable angina pectoris and the need for coronary revascularization.5 In short, the prospects for a rapid and complete recovery from acute MI and avoidance of future cardiac events have never been better. However, despite these favorable prospects, physicians and patients are too often burdened by the misconception that sexual activity after acute MI is dangerous.

See also p 1405.

The report of Muller et al6 in this issue of The Journal indicates that the actual risk