Something a little light-hearted for a change. Hui Liu, Linda J. Waite, Shannon Shen and Donna H. Wang have just published a report on the effect of regular and enjoyable sex in later life, in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour. It appears that, for men, having a good and lusty sex life from your mid-50s onwards carries an increased risk of later heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. While for older women, good sex seems to be beneficial and can lead to a reduction in hypertension. The risk for sexually-active older men was twice that for men who were sexually inactive. The results of their studies are published in a popular format in Medical Express who quote one of the study’s authors saying that they are not quite sure what causes this elevated risk. It might be the extra and prolonged exertion older men have to apply to the job of reaching orgasm, it might be the medication they take to enable them to perform in the first place, or it may be that elevated testosterone levels in sexually-active older men have a deleterious effect on the health of their hearts!
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