FILED IN: Health

Unfaithful men more likely to die of a heart attack


Cheating could be bad for the heart in more ways than one. Photo by Roger Kirby.

There are quite a few reasons why it may be unhealthy for a man to cheat on his wife, but most men probably don’t realize that an increased risk of a heart attack is among them. Italian researchers who were studying male monagamy found something surprising–men who have extramarital affairs are more likely to suffer a deadly heart attack.

We’ve all heard the stories and jokes–the middle-aged man meets his demise while spending some really private time with a woman who is not his wife. There’s even a medical name for it–sudden coital death. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine seems to indicate that this stereotype has some basis in truth.

The researchers , all from the University of Florence, looked at the medical literature related to infidelity or extramarital affairs, but admittedly reliable statistics were hard to find in this area as men are understandably reluctant to chat with scientists about it. According to the authors, the amount of men who cheat at some point in there lives is anywhere from 15 to 50 percent. The researchers studied a variety of physical and mental health factors and their rates of occurence in both faithful men and admitted cheaters.

Apparently, sex is healthy and beneficial for men well into old age as long as they are doing it with their spouse, but sudden coital death occurs most frequently when a man has sex with a woman who is not his long-term partner.

The authors found these results surprising, even if some wives may find them satisfying on a karmic level. In general, cheating men are healthier than monogamous men (your couch potato husband doesn’t look so bad anymore, does he?).

The authors theorize that the act of trying to keep an affair secret might be a contributing factor to the increased deadly heart attack risk for cheating men. In addition, cheating men often have affairs with younger women, making these men more inclined to drink, smoke, and eat more to keep up with their young mistresses. All of this takes its toll on the body, increasing the heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety–all contributing factors to a heart attack.