Swedish Seniors Are More Sexually Active

During the past 30 years, quantity and quality of sex has increased among 70-year-old Swedes

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- In 70-year-old Swedish men and women, both the quantity and quality of sex has significantly increased since the early 1970s, according to a report published online July 8 in BMJ.

Nils Beckman, a Ph.D. student at Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues compared survey responses of 1,506 adults (946 women and 560 men) from the general population, which were collected in 1971-1972, 1976-1977, 1992-1993 and 2000-2001.

Between 1971 and 2000, the researchers found that the proportion of 70-year-olds reporting sexual intercourse increased among married men (from 52 percent to 68 percent), married women (from 38 percent to 56 percent), unmarried men (from 30 percent to 54 percent) and unmarried women (from 0.8 percent to 12 percent). They also found significant temporal increases in the proportion of men and women reporting very happy sexual relationships (from 40 percent to 57 percent for men, and from 35 percent to 52 percent for women).

"Given that sex plays an increasingly valuable role in the lives of older men and women, Beckman and colleagues' study reinforces the dictum that doctors should ask -- and be trained to ask -- every patient, regardless of age, 'Any sexual concerns?'" states the author of an accompanying editorial. "Doctors are well placed to normalize and affirm the value of fulfilling sexual relations for the well-being of older patients."

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