CHICAGO — Good news: Sex is safe for most heart patients. If you’re healthy enough to walk up two flights of stairs without chest pain or gasping for breath, you can have a love life.
That advice from a leading doctors’ group on Thursday addresses one of the most pressing, least discussed issues facing survivors of heart attacks and other heart patients.
In its first science-based recommendations on the subject, the American Heart Association says having sex only slightly raises the chance for a heart attack. And that’s true for people with and without heart disease.
Surprisingly, despite the higher risk for a heart patient to have a second attack, there’s no evidence that they have more sex-related heart attacks than people without cardiac disease.
Heart patients should get a doctor’s OK before engaging in sexual activity. Many may be advised first to do cardiac rehab — exercise while being monitored for heart symptoms, to improve heart strength and increase physical fitness. But the heart association says most eventually will be cleared to resume sexual activity.
2011 was 11th-warmest year on record
WASHINGTON — The world last year wasn’t quite as warm as it has been for most of the past decade, government scientists said Thursday, but it continues a general trend of rising temperatures.
The average global temperature was 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, making 2011 the 11th hottest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. That’s 0.9 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, officials said. In fact, it was hotter than every year last century except 1998.
One reason 2011 was milder than recent years was the La Nina cooling of the central Pacific Ocean. La Ninas occur every few years and generally cause global temperatures to drop, but this was the warmest La Nina year on record.
And 2011 also was the warmest year on record for Spain and Norway, and the second warmest for the United Kingdom. In the U.S., the average temperature of 53.8 was just 1 degree above normal, making last year the 23rd warmest on record. But 17 cities — including Houston, Miami, Trenton and Austin — had their warmest years.
This marks the 35th straight year that global temperatures were warmer than normal. NOAA’s records for world average temperatures date back to 1880.
File-sharing website Megaupload shut down
McLEAN, Va. — One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites was shuttered Thursday, and its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content.
An indictment accused Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after websites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.
Murdoch to pay phone hacking victims
LONDON — The media giant News Corp.’s British subsidiary agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to actor Jude Law and 17 other victims of phone hacking by its journalists as part of a settlement announced in a British court on Thursday.
The victims were mainly targeted by the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which was closed last July by media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s corporation in the wake of the scandal.
Among the claimants awarded compensation were Law and his former wife, actress Sadie Frost; ex-soccer player Paul Gascoigne; former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott; and James Hewitt, the ex-lover of the late Princess Diana.
Law was awarded $200,000, who was tracked by the newspaper’s hackers even while in the United States, and $78,000 to his ex-wife.
The 18 claimants, along with 19 others who previously settled, are a fraction of the total of some 800 phone-hacking allegations that have already been investigated by police. More than a thousand cases are still being pursued, Scotland Yard said.