ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Know Your Asthma Triggers
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
CANCER
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Be Healthy, Spend Less
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Add your Article

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.