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Sex, seniors and coffee-drinking habits.

Sex, seniors and coffee-drinking habits

At least one cup of coffee per day appears to help keep a senior citizen's sex life perking. That's the conclusion drawn from a study of 744 noninstitutionalized men and women aged 60 and older.

Ananias C. Diokno and his colleagues at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found that 62 percent of married elderly women who drank coffee daily were sexually active, compared with 38 percent of similar women who did not drink coffee.

For men, a daily dose of coffee would appear to stave off potency problems: 59 percent of married men who didn't drink coffee reported trouble getting or maintaining an erection. Only 36 percent of married men who did drink coffee reported similar problems, the team reports in the January ARCHIVES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE.

Diokno says he believes caffeine may hold the secret to a better sex life for senior citizens. Caffeine belongs to the family of methylxanthines, potent central nervous system stimulants known to enhance the body's response to sensory stimuli.

On the other hand, the correlation between coffee and sexual activity may be a statistical artifact. Older people who drink coffee may tend to have other attributes related to their sexual behavior. For example, Diokno says, elderly people who choose to drink coffee despite accounts of caffeine's adverse effects may do so because they have fewer medical problems--such as heart disease--that might lead a person to limit sexual activity.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 3, 1990
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