Unhealthy Lifestyle Factors Linked to Sexual Problems

Men with unhealthy lifestyles significantly more likely to have sexual dysfunctions

THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Unhealthy lifestyle factors are associated with sexual inactivity with a partner in sexually active men and women, with sexual dysfunction significantly more likely in men, according to a study published online May 13 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Birgitte S. Christensen, from the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues investigated the association between unhealthy lifestyle factors and sexual inactivity with a partner and sexual dysfunction in 5,552 adults, aged 16 to 97 years in 2005. Four specific sexual dysfunctions were studied for each gender: erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia, premature ejaculation, and dyspareunia in men, and lubrication insufficiency, anorgasmia, dyspareunia, and vaginismus in women.

The investigators found that, for both genders, obesity (body mass index [BMI], ≥30 kg/m²), increased waist circumference (men, ≥102 cm; women ≥88 cm), and physical inactivity were each significantly associated with sexual inactivity in the last year, and tobacco smoking showed a similar association exclusively in women. Both underweight (BMI, <20 kg/m²) and obesity, or substantially increased waist circumference, physical inactivity in leisure time, tobacco smoking, high alcohol consumption (>21 alcoholic beverages per week), and hard-drug use were each significantly positively correlated with one or more sexual dysfunctions in sexually active men (odds ratio [OR], 1.71 to 22.0). In sexually active women, only hashish use was significantly associated with anorgasmia (OR, 2.85).

"In both sexes, several unhealthy lifestyle factors were associated with sexual inactivity with a partner in the last year. Additionally, among sexually active participants, men with unhealthy lifestyles were significantly more likely to experience sexual dysfunctions," the authors write.

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