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For a long sex life, stay healthy

March 9, 2010 |  4:01 pm

Just in case avoiding death isn’t a good enough reason to pay attention to your health, researchers from the University of Chicago offer another incentive: people who are healthy have better – and longer – sex lives.

SexStacy Tessler Lindau and Natalia Gavrilova examined data from more than 6,000 American adults between ages 25 and 85. The men and women provided information about their overall physical health and their activity between the sheets.

The researchers found that people in “very good” or “excellent” health were 50% to 80% more likely to be interested in sex than those in poorer health.

What’s more, being in good health greatly boosted the odds of being sexually active. Healthy men were 2.2 to 4.6 times more likely to be sexually active than their unhealthy peers; for women, being healthy increased the likelihood of an active sex life by 1.6 to 2.8 times.

And among those who were having sex, those in good health were more likely to say their sex life was good. For men, good health meant having sex more frequently as well.

The study is being published online Wednesday in the journal BMJ. You can read the full results here, along with an editorial welcoming the news that “adults in the U.S. can enjoy many years of sexual activity beyond age 55.”

-- Karen Kaplan

Photo: If you stay healthy, you can maintain an active sex life well into your golden years. Photo credit: Lightscapes Photography Inc./Corbis

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