ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
CANCER
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
FITNESS
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
The Brain Comes Alive With the Sounds of Music
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex

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 different samples of people, one involving over 3,000 adults aged 25 to 74, and another with more than 3,000 adults aged 57 to 85. An equal number of men and women were in each group.

Men were more likely to report positive experiences with sex than women. This gender gap was most noticeable among 75-to-85-year olds, with 38.9 percent of men, compared to 16.8 percent of women, reporting being sexually active. Almost 71 percent of men in this age group reported a good sex life, versus only half of the women.

And more men today are reporting an interest in sex than in 2000.

"This probably is related to new medications in therapy, so now men who before never could even think about having sex can have sex," Weirman said.

Also, she added, "as people age, the unhealthy men die off so these are the healthiest men in that cohort."

Study lead author Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau, director of the University of Chicago's Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine, said the "major reason why the picture looks better for men than women is that women tend to outlive their marriages and relationships, so there are more women in the adult population without partners. But if you look at women who have partners, the proportion who say they're sexually active is about the same as men who have a partner."

On the other hand, men's sex lives do seem to suffer more from poorer health.

"At age 55, men have, on average, 15 years of sexually active life expectancy and women about 11 years," Lindau explained. "Men who are in excellent or good health gain an additional five to seven years. What this says is that men benefit more from good health. Men in poor health lose more years of sexually active life expectancy than do women."

People with partners were more likely to be having sex and more men than women reported having partners, especially in later life, the study found.