In the past decades have you talked endlessly of health benefits that have to practice sex . And it is that the scientific evidence does not stop throwing data on this relationship, as well as the opposite phenomenon: the association between the decrease in sexual activity and the appearance of health problems.
Thus, a group of researchers has published an article in the specialized media Archives of Sexual Behavior in which they investigate this issue based on the data presented in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging .
Decreased desire increases risk of limiting disease
This research was conducted on a group of 2,577 men and 3,195 women over fifty years of age, and among other questions, it explored various parameters related to the sexual activity of these people through self-completed questionnaires. The study lasted four years, and respondents answered the same questions in 2012/2013 and 2016/2017.
Thus, from these data, the authors of the article found that men who had reported a decrease in sexual desire in that period were 41% more likely to suffer from chronic limiting diseases, 33% more coronary diseases and an incidence of 63% higher cancer than those who maintained the same level of sexual desire.
Similarly, men who had experienced a decline in the frequency of their sexual activity also had a 69% higher incidence of chronic limiting diseases and a 47% worse perception of their own health, and those who claimed to have erectile dysfunction had greater chances of suffering from cancer (73% more) or coronary heart disease (129%) and, again, they expressed a worse perception of their own state of health (66% worse).
In women, on the other hand, the decrease in sexual activities was related to a 29% higher incidence of limiting chronic disease, an 86% higher probability of suffering from coronary heart disease and a 104% higher probability of suffering a stroke. This last scenario was triggered for those who reported an inability to feel sexual desire (136%).
Limitations and scope
The researchers took into account numerous factors that could also influence these results, such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, physical activity that the participants developed or the incidence of depressive symptoms. Taking this into account, they found that the relationships we have noted were maintained.
Despite this, and although the researchers point out that decreased sexual activity and desire should be taken as risk factors in clinical practice and future research, they recognize certain limitations. On the one hand, they recall that the conclusions they have drawn are correlations between data, and the causality between them is not clear (in fact, they venture that there are possibly two simultaneous ones; that the early stages of the diseases cause the loss of quality of the data). sexual health and this, in turn, worsens the evolution of diseases).
On the other hand, and although the size of the sample is sufficient for the conclusions to be considered significant, the respondents were only English, so the study is not necessarily extrapolated to other geographical areas; They also point out that the four-year period may have been too short to detect other associations.
Finally, they point out that it is important that all these data were extracted, as we have said, from self-completed questionnaires , which implies that the answers may not be true in all cases, something especially plausible if we take into account the taboos that still surround the sexual health, higher if possible among the older population.
Be that as it may, they argue, what is important is that healthcare professionals do not forget that older patients are also sexually active, and that their sexual health can have important implications in other spheres.