Frequency of Sexual Activity and Long-term Survival after Acute Myocardial Infarction

Shlomit Brandis Kepler, Tal Hasin, Yael Benyamini, Uri Goldbourt, Yariv Gerber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies have shown an inverse relationship between sexual activity and mortality in the general population. We evaluated the association between sexual activity and long-term survival among patients with acute myocardial infarction. Methods: Patients aged ≤ 65 years (n = 1120; mean age, 53) discharged from 8 hospitals in central Israel after first myocardial infarction from 1992-1993 were followed for mortality through 2015. Frequency of sexual activity was self-reported during the index hospitalization (baseline; referring to the year preceding the infarct) and after 5 and 10-13 years, along with sociodemographic and clinical data. Cox proportional hazards models were constructed to estimate the association with all-cause mortality in time-dependent sexual activity categories. Results: At baseline, a > once per week frequency of sexual activity was reported by 42% of the patients, whereas no sexual activity was reported by 6%. After 10-13 years, the rates were 21% and 27%, respectively. Lower sexual activity was associated with older age, female sex, lack of a steady partner and more comorbidities. During follow-up, 524 deaths (47%) occurred. An inverse relationship was observed between sexual activity frequency and death, with hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 0.30 (0.23-0.38) for > once per week, 0.36 (0.28-0.46) for once per week, and 0.53 (0.42-0.66) for < once per week, compared with none. After adjusting for relevant confounding factors, the estimates were attenuated to 0.68 (0.50-0.91), 0.63 (0.48-0.83), and 0.72 (0.57-0.93), respectively (P for trend = .004). Conclusions: Using repeated assessments of sexual activity after myocardial infarction, an inverse association was demonstrated with mortality, which was only partly accounted for by measured potential confounders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Longitudinal study
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Secondary prevention
  • Sexual activity
  • Survival


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