Navigation Links
Shock Fear May Curb Sex for People With Heart Devices
Date:11/14/2011

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For people with implantable cardioverter defibrillators, the life-saving device may come at a cost: Fear of it firing a shock to the heart during sex drives some to avoid lovemaking altogether.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) are small devices placed in the chest or abdomen that shoot off electrical pulses when they detect potentially life-threatening, irregular heartbeats.

But shock-related anxiety can impede sexual performance, according to new research scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

These fears are warranted, said study author Dr. Steven Cook, director of adult congenital heart disease at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. "It's a huge deal that no one talks about sexual function with these patients," Cook said.

ICDs can fire during sex or any other time that they sense a dangerous arrhythmia, Cook added. And the jolt can be frightening. He said that patients tell him the shock feels like "someone kicked you in the chest. It is a pretty intense sensation."

The new study included 151 men and women who had congenital heart disease, meaning a heart abnormality since birth. Of these, 41 had ICDs and an average age of 37. Those without an ICD averaged 32 years. Study participants rated their sexual function and depression via standardized tools, which included questions about confidence, satisfaction and arousal. Those individuals with ICDs also completed the Florida Shock Anxiety Scale, which measures fears about ICD-related shock.

Men with ICDs had sexual function scores similar to the ratings of men with mild erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse).

The sexual function scores of women with and without ICDs showed little difference, suggesting men might be more affected by shock-related anxiety.

Many people with congenital heart disease may be depressed, which could affect their sexual function, but depression scores were in the normal range for all of the study participants -- those with and without ICDs, the study showed.

Men and women who reported high levels of shock-related anxiety had lower sexual function scores compared with their counterparts who were not anxious about their device firing. It didn't matter if these individuals were single or in committed relationships. Some may have experienced a shock in the past, while others might just fear experiencing one in the future, Cook said.

Communication between patients and their doctors is critical to allay any fears, Cook said. Anyone shocked in the past who dreads another jolt should try to figure out why the device fired in the first place, Cook said.

Solutions exist, based on whether the ICD fired appropriately or inappropriately. Doctors can tweak your medication regimen to help control the underlying heart problem or reprogram the device, he said.

In the future, it may help to have doctors screen people for shock-related anxiety before implanting the device, he said.

This is a real issue, said Dr. Joshua M. Hare, the Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "It is an interesting dilemma because the same device that can save your life also has side effects," he said.

"It's the right treatment, but there is the risk that it could happen at the wrong time," he said. "If you don't have the device you are at risk for a potentially fatal event, but having the device can be anxiety-provoking and create psychosocial issues."

"You have to pick your poison," he said.

Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

Find out more about implantable cardioverter devices at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCES: Steven Cook, M.D., director, adult congenital heart disease, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Joshua M. Hare, M.D., the Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Fla.; Nov. 15, 2011, presentation, American Heart Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. For a Healthier, Cleaner Fitness Regimen - Venture Products Shock Athletic(TM) Mats and Interlocking Flooring
2. BUAV Exposes Shocking Role Played by Laos in the International Trade in Primates for Research
3. Safety data favor norepinephrine over dopamine for shock
4. Hearts of Hospice Patients Being Needlessly Shocked
5. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Louisiana is 46th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
6. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Georgia is 50th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
7. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Maryland is 48th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
8. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; District of Columbia is 51st Among All States in Maternal Mortality
9. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Arkansas is 44th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
10. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Delaware is 42nd Among All States in Maternal Mortality
11. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Mississippi is 45th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Derrin Doty Group has unveiled the latest ... Orchard and communities west of Seattle. The insurance provider’s caring team has been so ... died suddenly due to complications from the flu, that they have decided to extend ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Michael Lanteri Agency in Fort Collins, ... the people of their local community. The agency pledges to select a new ... hope is to bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and other ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Long Island’s fastest growing comprehensive eye ... Long Island eye surgeon, Kathleen Van Valkenburg, MD as part of their ongoing effort ... MD, medical director and managing partner of North Shore Eye Care. , “We ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... A local study examining asthma ... 40 percent of participating fifth-grade students already have or are at risk for ... Research in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... , ... Dr. Benjamin Stong of Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC in Atlanta, ... double board certified and the only facial plastic surgeon in Atlanta to offer ... such as stem cells can be used to provide stabilization to hair transplant results ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... Research and Markets has ... Ischemic Stroke Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) ... Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides ... products, Acute Ischemic Stroke epidemiology, Acute Ischemic ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Research and Markets has ... lymphocytic Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive ... Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia epidemiology, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... DUBLIN , May 4, 2016 ... the "Global Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Outlook ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,Recombinant technology has ... therapeutics are expected to be developed in coming years. ... these techniques. Cancer stem cell therapies are also expected ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: