Men who cheat on their wives are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who stay faithful, new research has suggested.
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A study has shown “sudden coital death” to be more common when a man was meeting his mistress outside his family home than when he was with his wife.
The precise reasons for the increase are not clear, although a guilty conscience, stress from keeping the affair a secret, a demands of a younger women have been put forward in explanation.
The correlation between unfaithfulness and major cardiovascular events was highlighted by Italian researchers, who studied medical literature on the effects of infidelity.
Using key terms such as “unfaithfulness” and “extramarital affair”, they analysed the frequency and context of heart attacks in men.
In doing so, they found both fatal and non-fatal heart attacks were relatively rare when a man indulged in intercourse with his wife, but more frequent when he was with a lover.
The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Florence and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, suggested a guilty conscience may be in part to blame.
Other explanations could include the stress of satisfying a younger woman, as well as the more extravagant food and drink this may encompass.
The strain of preventing one’s wife from finding out may also contribute.
Researcher Dr Alessandra Fisher found: “Several interpersonal, sexual, and biological factors are associated with having extramarital affairs.
“Unfaithfulness in men seems to be associated with a higher risk of major cardiovascular events.”
She told the Daily Mail: “Extra-martial sex may be hazardous and stressful because the lover is often younger than the primary partner and probably sex occurs more often following excessive drinking and/or eating.
“It is possible that a secret sexual encounter in an unfamiliar setting may significantly increase blood pressure and heart rate, leading to increased oxygen demand.”