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Correlates of Sexuality in Men and Women Aged 52–90 Years Attending a University Medical Health Service in Colombia

Authors

  • Liliana Arias-Castillo MD,

    1. Dean Office, Health Sciences, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia;
    2. Department of Family Medicine, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia;
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  • Janeth Ceballos-Osorio MD,

    1. Department of Family Medicine, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia;
    2. Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
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  • Jhon Jair Ochoa MD,

    1. Department of Family Medicine, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia;
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  • Carlos A. Reyes-Ortiz MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, USA;
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Carlos Reyes-Ortiz, MD, PhD, Social Behavioral Science, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA. Tel: 817-735-5136; Fax: 817-735-0255; E-mail: creyes@hsc.unt.edu

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Limited information is available regarding sexuality among Colombian adults aged 50 years and older.

Aim.  To assess demographic or health characteristics associated with sexuality measures among middle- and older-aged men and women.

Methods.  Cross-sectional face-to-face interviews were conducted with retired persons from a university ambulatory medical care setting. Data on sexuality were obtained along with data on their demographic, emotional intimacy, practice of religion, medical conditions, and functional health measures. There were 136 participants.

Main Outcome Measures.  Appropriateness of sex, sexual desire, importance of sex, masturbation, and sexual intercourse.

Results.  Fifty-seven percent of the participants were over 65 years of age, 52% were female, and 66% reported being married; 67% indicated sex is appropriate, 58% reported having sexual desire, 45% considered sex very important in their lives, 54% reported one or more instances of sexual intercourse, and 16% reported masturbating within the last year. In multivariate analyses, importance of sex and sexual intercourse decreased by age. Women had decreased odds ratios (0.20 to 0.33) for sexuality measures compared with men with the exception of appropriateness of sex. Married persons had increased odds ratios (3.06 to 9.45) for importance of sex, appropriateness of sex, and sexual intercourse compared with those of the same age who reported being unmarried. Other factors associated with some particular sexuality measures were emotional intimacy, religious practice, medical conditions, and functional health measures. There were significant mediation effects for appropriateness of sex on the relationship between sexual desire and sexual intercourse, and for importance of sex on the relationship between appropriateness of sex and sexual intercourse.

Conclusions.  Men and married persons had higher rates of most sexuality measures compared with women or their unmarried counterparts. These differences were greater at older ages (≥65) for all sexuality measures except sexual intercourse. Arias-Castillo L, Ceballos-Osorio J, Ochoa JJ, and Reyes-Ortiz CA. Correlates of sexuality in men and women aged 52–90 years attending a university medical health service in Colombia. J Sex Med 2009;6:3008–3018.

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