HealthDay News — Most older adults agree that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship at any age, according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Preeti Malani, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed a randomly selected group of 1,002 older adults aged 65 to 80 years about their perspectives on relationships and sex and their sexual health experiences. Seventy-five percent completed the survey. 

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According to the report, 72% of older adults were married, partnered, or in a relationship. Seventy-six percent of participants agreed that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship at any age, with men more likely than women to agree (84 versus 69%). Forty percent indicated that they were currently sexually active; sexual activity decreased with age. More than half (54%) of respondents agreed that sex is important to their overall quality of life, with men more likely to agree than women (70 versus 40%). In the past 2 years, 17% had spoken to their health care provider about their sexual health; 60% of these had initiated the conversation themselves. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported that they would talk with their health care provider if they had a problem with their sexual health.

“Sexual health among older adults doesn’t get much attention but is linked closely to quality of life, health, and well-being,” Erica Solway, PhD, MPH, co-associate director of the poll, said in a statement.

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