Having a fling or one-night stand can increase the risk of a heart attack, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Tufts Medical Centre and Harvard School of Public Health have found that occasional sexual activity is much more likely to cause a heart attack than regular sex, reports the Daily Mail.
The short-term risk of having a heart attack increases almost three-fold among those who rarely make love.
Those who have sex more often reduce the risk of it causing a heart attack – which means happily married couples could have the advantage.
A review of 14 studies of heart attacks found the heart is under strain during any form of ”episodic” physical activity – something an individual only does rarely.
Overall, there is a 3.5 times higher risk of such activity triggering a heart attack. The risk after ”episodic” sexual activity – the kind associated with affairs and one-night stands – is 2.7 times higher.
But the more active an individual is, either sexually or physically, the lower the risk falls, said the researchers.
The relative risk of heart attack caused by a burst of activity falls by around 45 per cent for each additional time a person indulges in it a week. The risk of sudden cardiac death also falls by 30 per cent.
The researchers stress that the number of heart attacks actually caused by sex will be low.
Like any physical activity, sex can increase the heart rate and blood pressure, which means the heart has to work harder. As a result, sex carries the same risk of triggering heart trouble as equally energetic forms of physical activity.
The higher risk during activity is then offset by a lower ”everyday” background risk for people who are fitter because they are more active.
The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association