The cost of marital infidelity –part 1
Generally speaking, sexual intercourse but not marital infidelity can be very safe for the heart. It’s possible it may even be good for you. But some people do die of sudden cardiac arrest during sex. And almost all of those people are older married men cheating on their wives with younger women in unfamiliar environment.
In January 2012, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention analysed autopsy reports of 5,559 people who died abruptly from heart complications and found that 75 percent of those who died during sex were engaging in extramarital sex.
Similarly, Italian researchers who published a study in the International Journal of Andrology in 2009 referred to men cheating on their spouse as “alpha males” because such men have higher levels of testosterone and are more likely to seek attention, be more seductive and crave new and exciting situations compared to men who don’t engage in affairs.
In fact, the Italian research team wondered whether the affairs themselves might be good for men’s cardiovascular health. To find out, they analysed data collected on questionnaires completed by nearly 1,100 patients of an andrology clinic. The heart health of the subjects was tracked for up to eight years.
Among those patients, 8% acknowledged that they were in a “stable” extramarital relationship (one lasting more than two months). During the period of study, there were 95 major adverse coronary events, including 56 cases of ischemic heart disease, 29 cases of stroke or transient ischemic attacks, and 11 cases of peripheral artery disease. Eight of these events were fatal. There were also 42 deaths that had nothing to do with heart disease.
The researchers found that men in stable extramarital relationships were twice as likely as other men to have heart disease at the start of the study. (They were also three years older, on average.) Even after adjusting for age, smoking behaviour and other factors, men involved in long-term affairs were more likely to experience a serious heart event over the course of the study.