A Japanese study has revealed that men who suffer from low sex drive are almost twice as likely to die early.
The researchers found that low sex drive is often a symptom of more serious health problems that can increase the risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular issues, obesity and poor lifestyle habits.
They noted that sexual interest is essential for maintaining positive sexual relationships and sexual function, which have been recognised as important indicators of good health and quality of life.
The study titled ‘Association between lack of sexual interest and all-cause mortality in a Japanese general population: The Yamagata prospective observational study' was published in PLOS One.
The study was led by Prof Kaori Sakurada of the Department of Fundamental Nursing, Yamagata University Graduate School of Nursing, Yamagata, Japan.
The study enrolled 20,969 people – 8,558 males and 12,411 females, who participated in annual health check-ups in Yamagata Prefecture, and their sexual habits and interests were examined over a decade.
The researchers said, “Based on our results, we suggest that lack of sexual interest itself contributes to an increased risk of all-cause mortality, independent of established risk factors in men over 40 years old. However, it is possible that some important confounding factors were not identified or adjusted.
They noted that how the lack of sexual interest impacts health and longevity remained precisely unknown, but several possibilities could be considered.
Commenting on the study, a consultant urologist at the Ogah Hospital and Urology Centre, Fugar, Edo State, Dr Gabriel Ogah, said being healthy could increase longevity and sexual drive logically.
“When people are healthy, they are more likely to have a high libido. If someone is more healthy and has more money in his pocket, his libido will be high because that person can fund it. But if you have no money to pay for your temptation, then you won't have a high libido, generally.
“But, that study is isolated. Before you can conclude that low sex drive is associated with an increased risk of early death, you have to carry out studies from different parts of the world. There should be multinational studies to make such a claim. The study has to be repeated in different countries and different situations. There is a logical link, but not medically established yet.”
He also said exercise, balanced diet, healthy weight increase sex drive.
The urologist and the researchers agreed that further study was required to clarify the mechanisms which underlie the preventive effects of sexual interest on mortality, the researchers said.