Resumption of sexual activity after acute myocardial infarction and long-term survival

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Aims Sexual activity is an important factor in the overall quality of life. We examined whether resumption of sexual activity frequency within the first few months after myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with long-term survival. Methods and results Sexually active patients aged ≤65 years (n = 495; median age, 53 years), drawn from the longitudinal Israel Study of First Acute Myocardial Infarction, were interviewed during the index hospitalization (1992-93) and after 3-6 months. Resumption of sexual activity was defined as abstaining/decreasing or maintaining/increasing according to self-reported frequency post-vs. pre-MI. Patients were followed for all-cause and cause-specific mortality through national registries. A propensity score for sexual activity resumption was calculated, based on which inverse probability weighted Cox models were constructed to examine associations. Patients who maintained/increased frequency [n = 263 (53%)] were more likely to be of higher socioeconomic status and to express lower levels of depression than their abstained/decreased counterparts. In the propensity score-weighted synthetic sample, the distribution of measured baseline covariates was similar across exposure categories. During a median follow-up of 22 years, 211 (43%) patients died. Maintaining/increasing sexual activity frequency was inversely associated with all-cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.48-0.88], compared with abstaining/reducing. The inverse association was more robust for non-cardiovascular mortality (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.36-0.85) than cardiovascular mortality (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.53-1.51). Conclusions Resumption of sexual activity frequency within the first months after MI was strongly associated with improved long-term survival, highlighting the need for sexual counselling shortly after MI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-311
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Cohort studies
  • Epidemiology
  • Mortality
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Sexual activity resumption
  • Survival


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