Aging seems to be kinder to women than to men. Women not only live longer, but sex has been shown to get better and more beneficial with age. For men, however, the opposite is true.
Researchers at Michigan State University recently conducted the first large-scale study on how sex affects heart health later in life. The results of this federally-funded study reveal that elder sex improves women’s health while doubling the hear attack risk for men.
Hui Liu, associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University, says,
These findings challenge the widely held assumption that sex brings uniform health benefits to everyone.
The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project surveyed 2,204 people aged 57-85 during 2005-2006 and followed up five years later. Data was collected and measured on cardiovascular risk, hypertension, rapid heart rate, elevated –reactive protein and heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
It was found that older men who engaged in sex one or more times per week had an elevated risk for cardiovascular issues five years later than men who abstained from sex.
Because older men have more difficulties reaching orgasm for medical or emotional reasons than do their younger counterparts, they may exact themselves to a greater degree of exhaustion and create more stress on their cardiovascular system in order to achieve climax.
Oddly enough, older men who found sex to be pleasurable with their partner had a higher risk than those who found it less satisfying.
Sexual relationships may place more strain and demands on men as they get older, more frail and suffer from sexual problems. Testosterone issues and sexual function medication may play an added role.
Although scientific evidence is still rare, it is likely that such sexual medication or supplements have negative effects on older men’s cardiovascular health.
Beware of that “little blue pill.”
On the other hand, women who had pleasurable, satisfying sex showed a lower risk of hypertension. Also, the female sexual hormone released during orgasm may promote good health in women.
For women, we have good news: Good sexual quality may protect older women from cardiovascular risk later in life.
It was found that men in all relationships, regardless of quality, receive support from their partner than are women. Only women in good relationships get such benefits from their partner.
Liu sums up,
Previous studies suggest that strong, deep and close relationship is important source of social and emotional support, which may reduce stress and promote psychological well-being and, in turn, cardiovascular health.