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As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Date:3/9/2010

Association held true for people well into their 80s, study found

TUESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Better health translates into better sex lives, with healthy people more likely to engage in sex (and good sex at that) and to express an interest in sex, new research finds.

This association held firm into middle-age and later life as well, according to the study by University of Chicago researchers.

The authors of the study, published in the March 10 issue of BMJ, also created a novel measure called "sexually active life expectancy." According to this new measure, men aged 55 could expect another 15 years of sex while women of the same age could expect 10.6 more active years.

Overall, however, more men reported a satisfying sex life than women, a chasm that widened as people aged.

The findings shine light on a little discussed topic.

"The really important thing about this study is just that it was done," said Dr. Eva Ritvo, vice chair of psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "People don't look at sexual activity in a scientific way very often but it's so very fundamental to our existence. The focus has always been on illness, but health is about well-being, looking at sexual functioning as an important part of well-being."

Dr. Margaret E. Wierman, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver, said the new study "points out that, over time, as a society women and men are becoming more comfortable talking about sex. Having a good sex life is critical to their overall quality of life."

But the fact that men are doing better than women is something that needs attention, Ritvo stated. "Why should men be having better sex than women? Viagra came out for men. Where's the female equivalent? For whatever reason women are not as satisfied as men and that needs to be addressed," she said.

The study authors looked at two d
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