(HealthDay News) – Less than half of patients who suffer an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) receive instruction regarding resuming sexual activity on hospital discharge, with those who do not receive instruction more likely to report loss of sexual activity, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a multisite observational study of sexual activity-related outcomes in patients during the year following AMI. A total of 605 women and 1,274 men, with a mean age of 61.1 and 58.6 years, respectively, participated.

The researchers found that many of the female and male participants were sexually active in the year before and one year after hospitalization (women, 44% and 40%, respectively; men, 74% and 68%, respectively). During hospital discharge, only one-third of women and 47% of men received instructions about resuming sexual activity. Both women and men were significantly more likely to report loss of sexual activity if they did not receive hospital instructions (women, adjusted relative risk, 1.44; men, adjusted relative risk, 1.27). At one year, there was no statistical difference in mortality between those who reported sexual activity in the first month after AMI and those were sexually inactive (2.1% and 4.1%, respectively; P=0.08).

“Absence of counseling at hospital discharge about when to resume sexual activity was a significant predictor of loss of activity for both men and women,” the authors write. “Mortality was not significantly increased in patients who were sexually active in the first month after their AMI.”

One of the authors received a grant from Medtronic; another author disclosed a financial relationship with UnitedHealth.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)