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Women's Heart Disease Risk Not Predicted By Sex Life

Link between sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease seen in men not seen in women

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is a modest association between dissatisfaction with sexual activity and prevalence of incident peripheral arterial disease in women, sexual dissatisfaction does not predict incident cardiovascular disease in women, according to a report published in the April issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Jennifer S. McCall-Hosenfeld, M.D., of Boston University, and colleagues analyzed data from the Women's Health Initiative-Observational Study on women who had been sexually active in the previous year and who were classified as sexually satisfied or dissatisfied at baseline.

Although there was a significant association between sexual dissatisfaction and prevalent peripheral arterial disease, there was no association with prevalent myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization including coronary artery bypass graft and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, or a composite of the various cardiovascular disease variables, the researchers report. Women who reported sexual dissatisfaction at baseline had lower odds of angina than their sexually satisfied counterparts.

"In our population of sexually active postmenopausal women, dissatisfaction with sexual activity was not predictive of incident cardiovascular disease," the authors write. "Although this may represent insensitivity of the sexual satisfaction construct to measure sexual dysfunction in women, it might be due to physiological differences in sexual functioning between men and women."

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