The researchers, led by Dr. Stacy Tesler Lindau, an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine-Geriatrics at the University of Chicago Medical Center, performed a survey of heart attack patients. In total, 1,184 men and 576 women were surveyed one month and one year after they had a heart attack.
The average age of the men was 59 years, while the women participants averaged 61 years of age.
About 50% of men and around 33% of women reported that their cardiologist discussed with them when it was safe to resume sex after having a heart attack and after being released from the hospital.
In addition, the researchers found that only 40% of men and 20% of women reported having conversations concerning sex with any doctor within one year of having a heart attack.
The WebMD article reports, ''¦ that sexual activity declined for both men and women during the year following a heart attack.'
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Dr. Lindau stated, "We found that one important difference between people who did and did not resume sexual activity after a heart attack was whether their doctor discussed the issue with them at hospital discharge.' [WebMD]
The study by Lindau and fellow researchers was reported at the 11th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA). The meeting was held in Washington D.C. from May 19 to 21, 2010.
Besides Dr. Lindau, the researchers involved with the study include Dr. Murray A. Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; and Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist specializing in women's care; medical director and New York University's Women's Heart Program.
Please read the WebMD article for additional information on the study.