In a new study from Michigan State University, researchers examined 2,204 peeps age 57-85 about their sex life. Here’s the verdict:
Having sex frequently – and enjoying it – puts older men at higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. For older women, however, good sex may actually lower the risk of hypertension.
To see how sex affects the heart in older men and women, researchers measured participants’ cardiovascular risk by noting high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, elevated C-reactive protein in the blood, and any cardiovascular events like heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
“Strikingly, we find that having sex once a week or more puts older men at a risk for experiencing cardiovascular events that was almost two times greater than older men who are sexually inactive,” study author Hui Liu said in a press release. “Moreover, older men who found sex with their partner extremely pleasurable or satisfying had a higher risk of cardiovascular events than men who did not feel so.”
That wasn’t the case for women, though. Having great sex in older age lowers a woman’s risk for high blood pressure and curbs her risk for heart attack, heart failure, and stroke five years down the road.