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WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content. See the latest news and features on Healthy Seniors. Michael Roizen, MD, would say that sex is keeping Kranz young. He defines 'real age' as "an estimation of your age in biologic terms, not chronologic years. Although Roizen's statistics are sketchy, he derives his figures primarily from a study done in Caerphilly, Wales, and published in the December British Medical Journal under the title, "Sex and Death: Are They Related?
Drawing on the researchers' remark that the evidence suggested a dose-response relationship -- meaning in this case that the more orgasms a man had, the longer he lived -- Roizen concluded that someone like my friend Peter, who has sex every day, could have a Real Age as much as 8 years younger. At first blush and Peter's candor did make me blush , my friend is a convincing example of Roizen's argument. He is youthful-looking, energetic, and actively involved in many interests. Peter still works as a developer of computer systems. He has had a steady, positive relationship with his wife who, at 77 also, still commutes to Manhattan for her own job at a major nonprofit institution.
But although Peter enjoys his sexual interludes immensely, he also does many other things to remain youthful. He watches his weight and caloric intake very closely and makes sure he stays slim. Over the last decades, he has been involved in strenuous earth and rock-moving activities in his own backyard; and he also splits wood when it is needed.
He has exercised steadily and intensely over the years. So does sex itself really extend our lives or prevent heart attacks? This claim is difficult to prove. Yes, sex and good health are usually linked -- in most of the studies and our observations -- but which one is the chicken and which the egg?
Does sex contribute to good health or does good health make regular sex possible? One of the first longitudinal studies of aging begun at Duke University in the '50s and reported in the December journal Gerontologist found that the frequency of sexual intercourse for men and the enjoyment of sex for women predicted longevity. Other studies have found that sexual dissatisfaction was a predictor of the onset of cardiovascular disease.
In a long-term study published in book form as Secrets of the Superyoung , David Weeks, MD, head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, found that "the key ingredients for looking younger are staying active Theorizing on his findings, Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist, attributed this to ificant reductions in stress, greater contentment, [and] better sleep. Michael Roizen's reading of the research and his clinical work have led him to believe that sex keeps us younger because it "decreases stress, relaxes us, enhances intimacy, and helps Although it may gross out year-olds to hear it especially about their parents , older people do continue to have sex, according to the MacArthur Foundation report "Successful Aging" by John W.
Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD. While men may experience a gradual decline in sexual libido as their testosterone levels slowly diminish, women experience a wider range of effects as a result of the more complex hormonal changes that occur with menopause. Other women may respond to the lower testosterone levels that sometimes occur after menopause with a decrease in desire. Judith Gerberg, MA, a career counselor and president of the Career Counselors' Consortium in New York, found that a hysterectomy 10 years ago left her totally depressed and disinterested in sex or anything else.
Despite treatment with estrogen , her apathy continued. She did not give up on finding a solution and kept consulting physicians until she found one who was an early proponent of the use of small doses of testosterone to restore sexuality in middle-aged women. When she began taking Estratest , a combination of estrogen and testosterone, all aspects of her sexual functioning returned. I was energized. I stopped worrying all the time. For both men and women, the best way to maintain sexuality in later years is never to stop making love.
Susan Love's Hormone Book. My friend Peter Kranz explains his method. We go to bed around 11 p. After a few hours sleep , I wake my wife up, and we have intercourse for 20 or 30 minutes. Then we go back to sleep till the alarm goes off in the morning. We make love again upon awakening, and then I generally do finish off.
And one of Roizen's enthusiastic correspondents, year-old Joe, who had sex regularly until his wife died at age 83, gives his sexual recipe. But after two months, "She came out of the cocoon Healthy Aging Feature Stories. Continued But although Peter enjoys his sexual interludes immensely, he also does many other things to remain youthful. How Sex May Keep You Young One of the first longitudinal studies of aging begun at Duke University in the '50s and reported in the December journal Gerontologist found that the frequency of sexual intercourse for men and the enjoyment of sex for women predicted longevity.
Continued Sex and Seniors Although it may gross out year-olds to hear it especially about their parents , older people do continue to have sex, according to the MacArthur Foundation report "Successful Aging" by John W. Continued Other women may respond to the lower testosterone levels that sometimes occur after menopause with a decrease in desire. Use It or Lose It For both men and women, the best way to maintain sexuality in later years is never to stop making love.
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