Low libido has been linked to all causes of death among men in Japan

Scientists have found a bold link between a lack of sex drive and an increased risk of death from all causes in men living in Japan. Before jumping to conclusions, there’s a lot to unpack from the study and some limitations to consider. Nonetheless, it does hint that there might be an interesting association between sex drive and longevity, one that hasn’t been identified before.

In the new study, researchers from Yamagata University looked at data from 20,969 people (8,558 men and 12,411 women) over the age of 40 who participated in annual health checkups in Yamagata Prefecture. , a region of Japan known for its snow-capped mountains and warm temperatures. springs. They then rated their level of sexual interest and their risk of dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

In sum, they found that all causes of death were significantly higher in men who lacked sexual interest. This remained true even after controlling for age, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI, education, marital status, frequency of laughter and psychological distress.

Although the women in the study were more than twice as likely to report low libido as the men, the researchers found no link between their low libido and mortality.

“Although sexual activity and sexual satisfaction are considered beneficial for psychological health and well-being in older age groups, the association between sexual interest and longevity has not been studied. This study is the first to prospectively examine associations between sexual interest and all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular and cancer mortality in a community population,” the study authors write.

So what’s going on with these discoveries? The researchers have not explicitly sought to understand what is driving the trend, they simply report that they have found a link between the two. That said, they offer speculative explanations.

First, the researchers note that “men’s lack of interest may be linked to unhealthy lifestyles.” Men with low libido may not feel inspired by bedroom affairs because they also experience issues with their immune system, inflammation, and neuroendocrine system, which also makes them more susceptible to disease. . It is known that mental health issues like depression can also impact people’s libido and are associated with mortality.

If so, however, it seems odd that the connection was not found with women as well. Likewise, this study only looked at people living in one prefecture in Japan, which means the findings don’t necessarily apply to the rest of the world.

Finally, it’s also worth considering that the study only involved about 200 LGBTQ+ people, which the researchers say isn’t enough to draw stronger conclusions.

With all of this in mind, the study still raises a few interesting trends. The researchers write in their conclusion that health authorities may be exploring the possibility of launching initiatives to defend sexuality as a means of improving public health, just as other countries have done.

“The Canadian government, through public health promotion materials, has begun to endorse sexual activity as part of an ‘aging well’ program. In Japan, there is more prejudice about gender among older people than in the Western world. We hope that our findings will help promote public health by advocating for sexuality in Japan,” the study concludes.

The new study was published in the journal PLOS One.

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