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Sex Keeps You Mentally Sharp

Black Health Matters / Our Health  / Seniors  / Sex Keeps You Mentally Sharp

Sex Keeps You Mentally Sharp

Seniors who are satisfied with their sex lives scored better on memory tests

Seniors, staying sexually active—and believing sexuality is an integral part of life—can help you stay sharper mentally as you age. That’s what new research published in the March issue of theAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found.

Researchers from the Netherlands surveyed 1,747 elderly people (the average age of study participants was 71) on the importance of sexuality and their current sex life, as well as the need for intimacy and touching. The researchers then compared respondents’ answers to medical charts tracking chronic diseases, depression and medications. They found that older men and women who said they were satisfied with their sex lives scored better on tests of memory and other mental functions than those who felt sexuality and intimacy were unimportant.

The survey found:

A quarter of the subjects rated their current or personal sexuality as important or very important. Forty-one percent rated it as unimportant.
Forty two percent felt sexuality at an older age is important, while nearly 28 percent believed it was unimportant.
Thirty-two percent consider their current level of sexual activity pleasant; 6 percent said it was unpleasant.
Sixty-seven percent believed intimacy and touching are still necessary in older people; 12 percent disagreed with that statement.
The association between lower cognitive functioning and the belief that sexuality is unimportant as people age was significant in both sexes, but the connection appeared stronger in women, according to the researchers.

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BHM Edit Staff