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Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

Today's senior citizens more satisfied with their sex lives, study says

seniorsactiveUSA: It looks like things have gotten spicier for seniors since the 1970s, for a new study out of Sweden says six in 10 women and seven in 10 men over 70 years old are highly satisfied with their sex lives.

Hailing from Sahlgrenska Academy, author Dr. Nils Beckman concluded that sexual activity among 70 year olds has increased from 12% to 34% for women and from 47% to 66% for men since the 1970s.

Seniors' sexual activity has increased not just in frequency, but in quality as well, for 62% of women and 71% of men reported being highly satisfied with their sex lives.

By contrast, only 41% of women and 58% of men described their sex lives in such a way in the 1970s, according to the data.

"A general sense of wellbeing, comfortable circumstances, good physical condition and vibrant mental health all contribute to sexual satisfaction," says Dr. Beckman. "Previous sexual experiences and the quality of the relationship also play a role."

Dr. Beckman identified three underlying factors — improved quality, childhood experiences and gender roles — that could determine whether individuals will maintain a healthy sex life into the golden years or not.

A senior citizen's sex life is often a product of childhood experiences according to Dr. Beckman who concluded that experiencing poverty, family troubles and corporal punishment in childhood could reduce sexual desire in middle and old age.

Traditional gender roles within a senior couple are likely to determine how long they keep going, he says, for the man's sexual appetite is what keeps the flame alive as a couple's years turn golden.

"In other words, our studies suggest that women's desire is not decisive for how active they are," says Dr. Beckman. "One reason may be the gender roles that these generations grew up with, which dictate that men always take the initiative."

Dr. Beckman's research — his doctoral thesis — also reveals that individuals have sexual feelings well into their 90s.

"While unlikely to be active at that age, they talk about their sexual thoughts and dreams," he says, "Often regretting that they no longer have the chance to share intimacy with another person."

Dr. Beckman advises healthcare professionals that it's never too late to talk about sex with their patients.

Data for the study was shared from the University of Gothenburg Center for Aging and Health (AgeCap), where it had been collected for the large H70 and women's population studies, and Dr. Beckman's thesis is available online here.

First new antibiotic in 30 years discovered in major breakthrough

antibiotics 2997553bThe first new antibiotic to be discovered in nearly 30 years has been hailed as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the fight against the growing resistance to drugs.

Teixobactin has been found to treat many common bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, septicaemia and C. diff, and could be available within five years.

But more importantly it could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics because of the way it was discovered.

Scientists have always believed that the soil was teeming with new and potent antibiotics because bacteria have developed novel ways to fight off other microbes.

But 99 per cent of microbes will not grow in laboratory conditions leaving researchers frustrated that they could not get to the life-saving natural drugs.

Now a team from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, have discovered a way of using an electronic chip to grow the microbes in the soil and then isolate their antibiotic chemical compounds.

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