Importance of Sex Associated with Maintaining Sexual Activity for Midlife Women

Midlife women who placed greater importance on sex maintained more sexual activity, according to a study published in a research letter by Holly N. Thomas, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues.

Sexual function is associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and understanding what affects women’s sexual activity as they age has implications for maintaining HRQoL in women, according to the study background.

The authors used data from used a large group of women (ages 40 to 65) who completed a sexual function index in year four of the study and were questioned again about sexual activity at eight years. Of the 602 women who completed year four of the study, 354 (66.3 percent) were sexually active and formed the baseline group. At year eight, 228 (85.4 percent) remained sexually active. Being white, having a lower body mass index and placing a higher importance on sex were associated with maintaining sexual activity. However, sexual function as measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was not associated with maintaining sexual activity, according to the results.

“In contrast to prior research, we found that most sexually active midlife women remain sexually active,” the study concludes.

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 10, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.14402.

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