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Middle-aged women more likely to have hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction

08 Oct 2020

Partnered women who are sexually inactive, highly educated, and on psychotropic medications are at risk of epidemiological hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction (eHSDD), a recent study has found.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 10,544 women aged 18–79 years, in whom sexual desire was evaluated using the Profile of Female Sexual Function (PFSF) and Female Sexual Function Index. HSDD was defined as having low desire along with having a score of ≥11 on the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised.

Less than half of the participants (38.9 percent) were sexually active, and 31.7 percent had low desire according to the PFSF. Low desire was most prevalent among elderly women aged 75–79 years (91.6 percent) and least so in those aged 18–24 years (27.4 percent). Personal distress peaked at 25–29 years (52.5 percent).

In comparison, the prevalence of eHSDD peaked at 40–44 years of age (33.4 percent) and remained relatively stable until 60–64 years (33.1 percent), after which it declined to a low of 7.3 percent by the age of 75–79 years.

Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified that eHSDD was most likely to occur among women aged 40–64 years (vs 18–39 years; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.81, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.60–2.04). Participants 65–79 years of age were significantly less likely to develop eHSDD (adjusted OR, 0.57, 95 percent CI, 0.47–0.68; p<0.001).

In addition, being partnered (adjusted OR, 3.03, 95 percent CI, 2.65–3.46; p<0.001) and sexually inactive (adjusted OR, 2.20, 95 percent CI, 1.95–2.48; p<0.001), taking psychotropic medications (adjusted OR, 1.61, 95 percent CI, 1.43–1.80; p<0.001), and being educated beyond secondary school (adjusted OR, 1.21, 95 percent CI, 1.09–1.35; p=0.001) were also significant risk factors for eHSDD.

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