Is Your Love Life Hurting Your Heart?
New research suggests that older men who are sexually active—especially those who have frequent sex—are at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Interestingly, the same does not seem to hold true for older women, who may see health benefits from sex.
According to researchers, sexual activity may lead to cardiovascular stress, overexertion, and exhaustion in older men. Supplements and medications to improve sexual performance also may have a negative impact on heart health. Other health problems may play a role as well.
The study involved 2,200 older adults between the ages of 57 and 85. Participants completed questionnaires about sexual behavior, and key indicators of heart health, such as blood pressure, heart rate, C-reactive protein levels, and incidence of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke were measured. Men who had sex once or more per week were almost twice as likely to experience an adverse heart event as men who were not sexually active. More research is needed—this study contradicts earlier research.
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