Monday, January 23, 2012

Sex is Safe for Most Heart Disease and Stroke Patients

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Good news for heart disease and stroke patients: For most patients, it's probably safe to have sex.

"For a patient who has sex with a familiar partner in a familiar setting, sexual activity generally is safe and no more strenuous than golf," said Loyola University Health System cardiologist Dr. John Moran.

Moran concurs with a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, which says that men and women with stable cardiovascular disease and no or minimal symptoms during routine activities can engage in sexual activity.

Loyola stroke specialist Dr. José Biller said that resuming sexual activity and intimacy is important both to patients and to their partners.

"Enhanced communication and post-stroke sexual education are paramount to a healthy, ongoing relationship," Biller said.

Biller is chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Moran is a professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology. Biller and Moran both have been named Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.

The American Heart Association statement said cardiac rehabilitation and regular physical activity can reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications related to sexual activity. But patients with severe heart disease who have symptoms with minimal activity or while at rest should not be sexually active until their symptoms are stabilized.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.