ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
After Job Loss, People Report More Health Issues
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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.