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Rivista di Chirurgia
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Chirurgia 2014 October;27(5):273-7
Sudden death during sexual intercourse: profile and pattern of intracranial hemorrhages in African men who died during sexual intercourse
Nnoli M. A. 1, Kanu O. O. 2, Ogo C. N. 3
1 Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria;
2 Neurosurgery Division, Department of Surgery, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi‑araba, Lagos State, Nigeria;
3 Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
AIM: That coitus is a trigger factor for stroke and rupture of intracranial aneurysms has been documented. Cultural issues, myths and superstitious beliefs surround stroke and death following sexual intercourse in Africa. Women are often made to suffer for the death of the sexual partner where there is no scientific proof of natural causes of death or any pathology associated with such condition.
METHODS: This report includes the cases of men who died during intercourse and whose relations requested for medico-legal autopsies. Autopsy findings of pattern of intracranial heamorrhages, comorbid factors like cardiac diseases as well as information on modifiable lifestyle behaviors of victims obtained from the relatives were documented.
RESULTS: Thirteen males between 36 and 60 years were studied between 2007 and 2013. Most of the deaths occurred in a hotel or some other locations outside their homes. All the subjects had subarachnoid hemorrhages; ruptured aneurysm was seen in 10 (76.9%) of the 13 subjects studied. Two or more modifiable lifestyle trigger factors were present in all persons through interview of relations.
CONCLUSION: Sex-related deaths in men are commoner with extra-marital relationships and occur often in locations outside the matrimonial homes. There is often an interplay of known trigger factors and modifiable lifestyle behaviors in susceptible people. Autopsy should be conducted in all cases to resolve the conflicts between traditional beliefs and orthodox medical practices.