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Nelson Rockefeller: Heart Attack During Sex

Nelson Rockefeller, former Vice President of the United States, a four-term governor of New York and heir to the Rockefeller family fortune, died at age 70 of a heart attack that was rumored to have occurred during extramarital sex. New York Magazine reported: "Nelson thought he was coming, but he was going".

He was in his townhouse, not his office, with a woman who was not his wife, when he presumably suffered a heart attack. Instead of dialing 911 immediately, the woman called her friend and then her friend called 911. When reporters tried to contact her, she was unavailable. Rockefeller's family chose not to have an autopsy done to prove the cause of his death. Instead, he was cremated 18 hours after he was pronounced dead.

Men Who Have Frequent Sex Live Longer
The very famous Caerphilly Heart Disease Study followed 918 men, ages 45-49, for 10 years and showed that men who have frequent orgasms have half the chance of dying, compared to those who have infrequent ones, and the more frequent the orgasms, the less likely they were to die (British Medical Journal, December 20, 1997;315:1641). An increase of 100 orgasms per year was associated with a halving of the death rate.

Death During Sex is Rare
Of 21,000 autopsies done over 21 years (1972-1992), 39 (0.19 percent) of the deaths occurred during or after sexual activity (Zeitschrift Kardiol, 1999 Jan;88(1):44-8). The average age of the men was 61.3 years, and 33 percent had had a previous heart attack.

Extramarital Sex Is Not So Safe
A review of the world's literature shows that men who are having sex with their wives are at an incredibly low risk for suffering a heart attack during sex. However when they make love with women who are not their wives, they are at higher risk for suffering heart attacks (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, June, 2012;9(6):1508–1518).

Heart attacks are often triggered by stressful events such as starting, or increasing, the intensity of an exercise program (Forensic Sci Int, 1996 May 17;79(1):1-10). Dr. Glenn Levine of Baylor Medical School showed that a man's chances of suffering a heart attack are increased by making love to someone who is not his wife. The sex act is fairly safe as it requires the same amount of energy as it takes to climb two flights of stairs, but making love to a woman who is not your spouse changes that. Dr. Levine reviewed more than 100 studies and found autopsy reports of almost 6000 cases of sudden death. One in 200 occurred during sexual intercourse. Ninety-three percent were men and of these, 75 percent were having extramarital sex, usually with a younger partner and often after excessive food and alcohol consumption (Circulation, published online January 19, 2012). A famous heart researcher, David Kritchevsky of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote that:

"Heart beats stay at normal rate,
When one beds down with legal mate.
But roosting in another’s nest,
flirts with cardiac arrest."

Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller
July 8, 1908 — January 26, 1979

June 1st, 2014
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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