Sexually active life expectancy

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Sexually active life expectancy is the average number of years remaining for a person to be sexually active. This population-based indicator extends the concept of health expectancy to the measure of sexuality (via sexual activity). Calculation of sexually active life expectancy uses the age-specific prevalence data on sexual activity in conjunction with life table data on survival probabilities to partition the number of person-years into years with and without sexual activity, which is based on the Sullivan method.[1] The measure of sexually active life expectancy was introduced by Lindau and Gavrilova.[2][3][4]

A study of two large population-based U.S. surveys found that, on average, women expect fewer years of sexual activity, mainly due to prevalent widowhood among older women. This gender disparity is attenuated for people with a spouse or other intimate partner. The study also found that men tend to lose more years of sexually active life due to poor health.[4]

Sexually active life expectancy is an associated with self-reports of good health in both men and women. Sexuality has been identified as an important attribute to overall health and a marker of quality of life. Physicians may find that sexually active life expectancy can be used as an incentive for patients to become (and stay) healthy.[4]


  1. ^ Sullivan, D.F. (1971). "A single index of mortality and morbidity". HSMHA Health Reports 86: 347–354. doi:10.2307/4594169. PMC 1937122. PMID 5554262. 
  2. ^ Gavrilova, N.; Lindau, S.T. (2007). "An overlooked aspect of women's health". Proceedings of the 19th REVES meeting (St.Petersburg, Florida). [dead link]
  3. ^ Lindau, S.T.; Gavrilova, N. (2008). "Population gender differences in the effects of obesity on later life sexuality and sexually active life expectancy". Gerontologist 48: 130. 
  4. ^ a b c Lindau, S.T.; Gavrilova, N. (2010). "Sex, health, and years of sexually active life gained due to good health: evidence from two US population based cross sectional surveys of ageing". British Medical Journal 340: c810. doi:10.1136/bmj.c850. PMC 2835854. PMID 20215365. 

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