Study says men with low libido twice as likely to suffer early death

Doctors discuss foods that can boost sex drive

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Investigators analysed medical records and survey answers of more than 20,000 men, for over a decade, to come to their conclusions. Results showed that men over 40, who had a low libido, were twice as likely to die from cancer. Moreover, men in the same cohort were more at risk of developing heart disease.

These findings remained true, even when co-factors, such as smoking, alcohol, and body weight, were taken into account.

The study authors, from Yamagata University, stated that “sexual activity and sexual satisfaction are considered of benefit to psychological health and wellbeing”.

This seems to be more evident in “older people”, yet the “the association between sexual interest and longevity has not been investigated”.

The researchers continued: “This study is the first to prospectively examine associations between sexual interest and all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular and cancer mortality in a community-based population.”

Women were also included in the research project, but no associations were made between lower libido and mortality in females.

People who reported a lack of interest in sex tended to be older, were more likely to drink more, have diabetes, laughed less, and experienced psychological distress.

The scientists noted: “Based on these results, we speculate that maintaining sexual interest may be related to positive psychological well-being… especially among men.”

However, “further study” is “required to clarify the mechanisms which underlie the preventive effects of sexual interest on mortality”.

Moreover, the population sample was based in a single region of Japan, therefore the results can not be applied internationally.

The researchers added: “We hope our findings will help promote public health through advocating sexuality in Japan.”

How to boost libido

The Mayo Clinic advises to:

  • Exercise more
  • Reduce stress
  • Communicate with your partner
  • Set aside time for intimacy.

The health benefits of sex

The NHS says an active sex life can improve the condition of the heart, reduce stress levels, and improve mental health.

Better heart health can also be achieved by eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet that is full of fruit and vegetables, and whole grains.

Other stress-busting activities include exercise, meditation, and connecting with other people.

“Being part of a happy, healthy relationship can also reduce depression and anxiety,” the NHS adds.

While an active sex life can be beneficial, practising safe sex is key in preventing sexually transmitted infections.

“Many people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) do not get symptoms,” the health body cautioned.

Sexual health check-ups can be done at GP clinics, sexual health clinics, and people can order home-testing kits.

“The earlier you’re tested, the sooner treatment can be given if it’s needed,” the NHS says.

If left untreated, STIs can lead to long-term health issues, which will depend on the type of STI a person has.

The Japanese research study is published in the journal PLOS One.

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