Sufferers of a heart attack and most heart disease should have no fear of resuming sexual activity post-incident, according to a new study. Many patients who have had heart issues are sometimes wary of sex after their experience due to the increased exertion, but scientists have proved that this shouldn't be the case.

Research from Ulm University, Germany, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, examined the cases of 536 people who had heart disease and were aged between 30- and 70-years-old to evaluate their sexual activity in the year prior to the heart attack. Some 4.7% said that they had sex less than once per month, a quarter reported less than once per week, and 55% said that they had engaged in sexual activity once or more per week before the attack.

78% of those surveyed said they had not had sex for at least a day before their heart attack. Of all the patients, just 0.7% had sex an hour before their heart attack.

With this data in mind, Dietrich Rothenbacher, lead author of the study and professor and chair of the Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry at Ulm University, said: "Based on our data, it seems very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger of heart attack. Less than half of men and less than a third of women are getting information about sexual activity after heart attack from their doctors. It is important to reassure patients that they need not be worried and should resume their usual sexual activity."