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Sexual satisfaction affects ageing

sex-and-relationships Updated: Aug 28, 2011 13:39 IST

ANI
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Successful ageing and positive quality of life indicators correlate with sexual satisfaction in older women, according to a study by researchers at the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego.

The report also showed that self-rated successful ageing, quality of life and sexual satisfaction appear to be stable even in the face of declines in physical health of women between the ages of 60 and 89.

The study looked at 1,235 women enrolled at the San Diego site of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study.

Happy old coupleAs the researchers expected, sexual activity and functioning (such things as desire, arousal and ability to climax) were negatively associated with age, as were physical and mental health. However, in contrast to sexual activity and functioning, satisfaction with overall sex life was not significantly different between the three age cohorts studied: age 60 to 69; 70 to 70; and 80 to 89.



Approximately 67 percent, 60 percent, and 61 percent of women in these three age groups, respectively, reported that they were "moderately" to "very satisfied" with their sex lives.

The findings of this study confirmed earlier published research from the UCSD Stein Institute suggesting that self-rated health changes little with age even when objective health indicators show age-associated decline.

“What this study tells us is that many older adults retain their ability to enjoy sex well into old age,” said Wesley K. Thompson, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry with the Stein Institute for Research on Ageing at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and co-lead author along with UC San Diego medical student Lindsey Charo, BA.

“This is especially true of older adults who maintain a higher level of physical and mental health as they grow older. Furthermore, feeling satisfied with your sex life - whatever your levels of sexual activity - is closely related to your perceived quality of life,” he added.

He concluded: “while we cannot assess cause and effect from this study, these results suggest that maintaining a high level of sexual satisfaction may positively reinforce other psychological aspects of successful ageing.”

The study has been published online in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.