ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
CANCER
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
CAREGIVING
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Smog Tougher on the Obese
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
More Single Women Are Having Babies
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
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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.