A new study from Boston University has revealed that decreased sexual satisfaction among postmenopausal women may not be linked to cardiovascular disease.
Female sexual dysfunction is a common condition and has been linked to a higher burden of medical illnesses that can cause cardiovascular disease.
The researchers analysed the data of sexually active postmenopausal women between 50 to 79 years, from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study and followed up for 8-12 years.
The participants were then categorized into sexually satisfied or dissatisfied and cardiovascular disease was the baseline for the analysis.
During the study, cardiovascular disease was defined as a self-reported history of acute myocardial infarction, stroke, or coronary revascularization procedure. They also examined congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease and angina.
The team found that there was a modest link between being dissatisfied with sexual activity and having peripheral arterial disease, and angina was decreased among those dissatisfied with sexual activity.
However, there was no association between sexual dissatisfaction and the presence of any other form of cardiovascular disease including heart attack or stroke.
"Our study of sexually active postmenopausal women found dissatisfaction with sexual activity was not predictive of incident cardiovascular disease which may be due to physiological differences in sexual functioning between men and women, or to difficulty measuring sexual dysfunction in women," said Dr Jennifer McCall-Hosenfeld, lead author, a fellow in the Department of General Internal Medicine at BMC and Women's Health at BUSM.
The study appears in the April 2008 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.