Lack of Sex Can Be a Health Threat for the Over-50s

It is not uncommon for couples of a certain age to lose some of their spark in the bedroom. But over-50s who let their love life enter the doldrums should be aware it might be bad for their health. A study of more than 5,700 found men who have less sex past 50 see their risk of serious illness rise by more than two-thirds.

 Women are 64 percent more likely to report being in ill health if they have sex less often, but there is no apparent significant rise in the risk of serious conditions.

 Experts say those in middle age should remember the health benefits of a night of passion, which can burn 85 calories and releases feel-good endorphins thought to boost the immune system.

 Men who become less interested in sex are 63 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and 41 percent more likely to develop a long-standing illness, the study found.

 Among men whose libido had stayed the same or got better, just over 15 percent developed a long-standing illness or disability such as diabetes or arthritis in the next four years.