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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.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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Jim Ritter
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