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Lively sex good for older women but not men

Older people and sexual activity
Older people and sexual activity

Are you a sexually active older person who thinks sex brings uniform health benefits to everyone? If yes then it is important to read this.

In a recent study of 2,200 people aged between 57 and 85 by scientists from Michigan State University in the US looking into the impact of sexual activity on the hearts of older people, the team led by Dr Hui Liu has come up with some interesting results:

  • Women over the age of 57 who engaged in frequent and satisfying sex were half as likely to develop high blood pressure – a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Older women who have frequent and satisfying sex have a significantly reduced the risk of heart problems in later life.
  • Older men from the same age group who had sex once a week or more actually doubled their heart risk when compared to those who were sexually inactive.
  • Women who reported that thay had extremely physically pleasurable sex were 47 per cent less likely to develop high blood pressure within five years.
  • Men were almost twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and angina, if they had sex at least once a week.

Why the difference in outcomes for men and women?

  • The rush of beneficial hormones and the emotional boost of being in a loving relationship are thought to be behind the boost to women’s health.
  • The damage to the health of older men could be because they suffer more sexual problems and then put themselves under more strain if they try to make love.
  •  The strain from a sexual relationship may be more relevant for men as they get older, become increasingly frail and suffer more sexual problems.
  • Because older men have more difficulties reaching orgasm for medical or emotional reasons than do their younger counterparts, they may exert themselves to a greater degree of exhaustion and create more stress on their cardiovascular system in order to achieve climax.
  • The use of Viagra and other medications to improve sexual function may also play a role – it is likely such sexual medication or supplements have negative effects on older men’s cardiovascular health.

Any caveats?

  • Yes, only women in good quality relationships may acquire such benefits from their partner.
  • Moderate amounts of sex may promote health among older men but there are significant potential risks of  cardiovascular events with high levels of sexual activity.

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