Have sex twice a week to save your heart
The study showed that men who indulged in regular lovemaking were up to 45 per cent less likely to develop life-threatening heart conditions than those who had sex once a month or less.
In the research of over 1,000 men, scientists found that sex apparently has a protective effect on the male heart but they did not examine whether women benefit too.
Thus, American researchers who carried out the investigation are now calling for doctors to screen men for sexual activity when assessing their risk of heart disease, reports a major newspaper.
Despite sex being considered good for physical and mental health, not much has been scientifically proven about the benefits of frequent intercourse on major illnesses such as heart disease.
In the latest study, scientists at the New England Research Institute in Massachusetts, tracked the sexual activity of men aged between 40 and 70 who were taking part in a long-term project called the Massachusetts Male Ageing Study, which began back in 1987.
Over a 16-year period, each man was regularly quizzed on how often they had sex and then checked for signs of heart disease.
Researchers took into account other risk factors, such as their age, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The results showed men who made love at least twice a week were much less likely to have heart disease than those whose sexual encounters were limited to once a month or less.
Analyzing the findings, scientists said the benefits of sex could be due to both the physical and emotional effects on the body.
Men with the desire for frequent sexual activity and who are able to engage in it are likely to be healthier, but sex in some forms has a physical activity component that might directly serve to protect cardiovascular health.
Also, men who have frequent sex might be more likely to be in a supportive intimate relationship and this might improve health through stress reduction and social support.
The study was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.