FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) — Most older adults with
diabetes are sexually active but the disease does cause some problems with
intimacy, a new study found.
U.S. researchers surveyed 1,993 people, aged 57 to 85, and found that
nearly 70 percent of partnered men with diabetes and 62 percent of
partnered women with diabetes had sex two or three times a month, which is
comparable to people the same age without diabetes.
However, compared with men without diabetes, diabetic men were more
likely to lack interest in sex and to experience erectile dysfunction. Men
and women with diabetes reported a higher rate of orgasm problems, such as
climaxing too soon (men) or not at all (men and women).
The study, published in the September issue of the journal Diabetes
Care, also found that 47 percent of men with diabetes had discussed
sexual problems with a doctor, compared with only 19 percent of diabetic
women. Men were much more likely than women to initiate this type of
“Patients and doctors need to know that most middle-age and older
adults with partners are still sexually active despite their diabetes.
However, many people with diabetes have sexual problems that are not being
addressed,” study lead author Dr. Stacy Lindau, an associate professor of
obstetrics and gynecology and of medicine at the University of Chicago,
said in a university news release.
“Failure to recognize and address sexual issues among middle-age and
older adults with diabetes may impair quality of life and adaptation to
the disease,” added senior author Dr. Marshall Chin, a professor of
medicine at the University of Chicago. “Sexual problems are common in
patients with diabetes, and many patients are not discussing these issues
with their physicians.”
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about diabetes
and sexual health.