Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sexual satisfaction tied to overall 'successful aging' as reported by women age 60 to 89

Date:
August 24, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
A study by researchers in California finds that successful aging and positive quality of life indicators correlate with sexual satisfaction in older women.

A study by researchers at the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego finds that successful aging and positive quality of life indicators correlate with sexual satisfaction in older women. The report, published online in the August edition of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, also shows that self-rated successful aging, 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, a major ongoing research program funded by the National Institutes of Health which, since 1993, has addressed causes of death, disability and quality of life in more than 160,000 generally healthy, post-menopausal women.

As 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.

"Contrary to our earlier hypothesis, sexual satisfaction was not significantly associated with age," said Wesley K. Thompson, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry with the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and co-lead author along with UC San Diego medical student Lindsey Charo, BA. "Although the levels of sexual activity and functioning did vary significantly, depending on the woman's age, their perceived quality of life, successful aging and sexual satisfaction remained positive."

Sexual activity was significantly lower in older age cohorts. Of the women who were married or in an intimate relationship, 70 percent of those aged 60 to 69, 57 percent of those aged 70 to 79, and 31 percent of those aged 80 to 89 reported having had some sexual activity in the previous six months. While women who were married or living in an intimate relationship engaged in higher rates of sexual activity than those who were not in such a relationship, sexual activity still decreased across age cohorts.

The findings of this study confirm 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 Thompson. "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 that "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 aging."

Additional contributors to the study include Ipsit V. Vahia, MD, Colin Depp, PhD, Matthew Allison, MD, and Dilip V. Jeste, MD, all with the UCSD School of Medicine.

This work was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging. The WHI program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wesley K. Thompson, Lindsey Charo, Ipsit V. Vahia, Colin Depp, Matthew Allison, Dilip V. Jeste. Association Between Higher Levels of Sexual Function, Activity, and Satisfaction and Self-Rated Successful Aging in Older Postmenopausal Women. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2011; 59 (8): 1503 DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03495.x

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Sexual satisfaction tied to overall 'successful aging' as reported by women age 60 to 89." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824142854.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2011, August 24). Sexual satisfaction tied to overall 'successful aging' as reported by women age 60 to 89. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824142854.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Sexual satisfaction tied to overall 'successful aging' as reported by women age 60 to 89." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824142854.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins