Metabolic syndrome linked to sexual dysfunction in older women

From Elsevier Health Sciences:

Philadelphia, PA, July 12, 2016 – Understanding the effects of age and disease on sexual wellbeing is crucial as sexual health is increasingly associated with vitality. In a new study published in The American Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at the role metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease play in postmenopausal women’s sexual health. They found that metabolic syndrome was strongly associated with decreased sexual activity, desire, and sexual satisfaction and that specific cardiovascular events were linked to reduced rates of sexual activity, but not with sexual desire or satisfaction. The study also showed that coronary artery disease was more prevalent in women with low rates of sexual activity.

Past studies have suggested that sexual dysfunction in women is more closely related to psychosocial factors such as depression and marital status than to any physical cause. Investigators from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine surveyed 376 postmenopausal women from the Rancho Bernardo community using a Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. They found that women with metabolic syndrome reported low sexual satisfaction, decreased desire, and diminished sexual activity. Waist size, diabetes, and hypertension were additionally associated with decreased sexual activity and elevated triglycerides were linked to lower desire.

“In these healthy community-dwelling older women, the prevalence of low sexual desire was significantly higher in women who met the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome,” explained Susan Trompeter, MD, lead investigator and clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine/Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. “In addition, we observed a higher prevalence of dysfunction by FSFI criteria in desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction, comparing sexually active women with metabolic syndrome to those without.”

Researchers also looked at various cardiovascular events and their effects on sexual health. They discovered that heart attack, coronary …

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