See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Sexual Activity Often Continues into Older Age

One-quarter of people aged 75 to 85 are still sexually active

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Many older adults in the United States continue to have sex into their 70s and 80s, although they do have a high prevalence of sexual problems compared to younger patients, researchers report in the Aug. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Stacy Tessler Lindau, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues surveyed 3,005 U.S. adults, including 1,550 women and 1,455 men, aged 57 to 85.

The researchers found that the prevalence of sexual activity was 73 percent in subjects aged 57 to 64 years, 53 percent in those aged 65 to 74, and 26 percent in those aged 75 to 85. Among those who were sexually active, the most common sexual problem for women was low desire (43 percent) and the most common problem for men was erectile dysfunction (37 percent). Only 22 percent of women and 38 percent of men reported discussing sexual problems with a physician after age 50.

"For some older couples, sex can continue to play an important part in their relationship and well-being, and some may benefit from counseling or medication for that purpose," states the author of an accompanying editorial. "The medical profession should encourage older patients to feel comfortable in discussing sexual problems and in choosing whichever of these two options suits them best."

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial

Physician's Briefing
undefined
undefinedundefined