They are advised to stop smoking and cut back on alcohol. But one thing heart attack patients shouldn't skimp on is sex, experts say.

Doctors say it is perfectly safe for most heart attack survivors to make love - with one even saying it has active benefits.

Claudio Gil Araujo, a doctor and exercise scientist in Brazil, believes that it can help raise spirits.

"Heart patients are usually weak and depressed," he told MailOnline. "Sexual activity - including kissing - can help them resume a normal way of life."

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After reviewing more than 150 studies on the subject, Dr Araujo said doctors should broach the subject with patients the same way they advise on exercise. He added that the exertion of sex is similar to that of a brisk walk, so is unlikely to trigger another heart attack.

It is estimated someone has a heart attack every seven minutes in the UK.

However, the British Heart Foundation says patients can start having sex again when they feel well enough, usually after four to six weeks.

The NHS states: "There's no evidence to suggest that having sex increases your risk of having another attack. Physical activity is good for the heart and, for most people, continues to be recommended."

- Daily Mail