NZ Herald 23 May 2012
It is news likely to bring an ironic smile to the lips of many a scorned spouse – adultery is bad for the heart. Studies show men who cheat on their wives risk not only their marriage but also their cardiac health. Liaisons away from home and with younger women are particularly dangerous. The warnings come from Italian researchers who reviewed previous studies on the causes of infidelity and its effects. These showed “sudden coital death” was much more common when a man was meeting his mistress than when he was with his wife. The researchers can’t be sure why, but put forward a variety of reasons, including a guilty conscience. The review’s authors, from the University of Florence, began by scouring medical literature for research papers including the words “unfaithfulness”, “extramarital affairs”, “infidelity” and “men”.
German studies show that most men who died during sex were having an affair and meeting away from the family home.
The stress of wining, dining and satisfying a woman who is likely to be younger than the man’s wife may also be to blame, as can the strain of keeping an affair secret. Researcher Dr Alessandra Fisher said extra-martial sex could be more stressful because the lover is often younger than the wife and the sex tends to follow more excessive drinking and/or eating.