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Heart failure, Sexual activity, Sexual dysfunction



  1. Steinke, Elaine E. PhD, RN
  2. Mosack, Victoria PhD, RN
  3. Wright, David W. PhD
  4. Chung, Misook L. PhD, RN
  5. Moser, Debra K. DNSc, MN, RN, FAAN


Patients with heart failure (HF) often have concerns about sexual activity while living with HF. Little is known about factors that contribute to sexual activity and sexual dysfunction in HF. This study examined selected risk factors and demographic variables as predictors of sexual activity in HF patients. The sample (N = 97) was mostly male and white and had some college education. Four risk factors, tobacco use, alcohol use, having diabetes, and number of medications, were statistically significant in showing decreased odds of being sexually active, when controlling for age, sex, education, and body mass index. Nonexercisers and hypertension were not significant predictors of sexual activity. Among cardiac medication classes, there were no statistically significant differences between those HF patients who were and were not sexually active. Health professionals need to be mindful of these predictive factors as they provide sexual counseling to patients with HF.