Heart attack fear stops sex life for some sufferers

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MORE than one million people in the UK could have stopped having sex lives altogether as a result of a heart condition, a leading charity has said.

Heart patients and their GPs should talk openly about sex issues, the British Heart Foundation said, after its survey found nearly a fifth of people with heart conditions, or 19 per cent, found sex impossible and nearly a third, or 32 per cent, have had sex less often as a result of their condition.

One in five respondents said they were worried about having a heart attack or cardiac arrest during sex. The survey of 1,511 patients for the BHF magazine Heart Matters found 14 per cent had lost interest in sex because of the emotional impact of their condition. Nearly half the men surveyed, 46 per cent, said medication for their condition had caused erectile dysfunction.

The charity said more than seven million people in the UK suffer from heart and circulatory conditions including stroke and the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation. It is estimated that more than one million people could have stopped having sex because of their heart condition.

In spite of the widespread problem, the charity said 30 per cent had not discussed the issue with anyone including their doctor.

Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the BHF, said: “We’re hearing loud and clear from Heart Matters readers that they need better support and information on how to deal with issues affecting their sex lives.