Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study

Key messages

  • Sex and death are common variables in epidemiology, but the relation between them has been little studied

  • In this cohort study, mortality risk was 50% lower in men with high frequency of orgasm than in men with low frequency of orgasm; there was evidence of a dose-response relation across the groups

  • The question of causation is complex, as with all observational epidemiological findings; several explanations are possible, but the evidence for causation is as convincing here as in many areas where causation is assumed

  • These findings contrast with the view common to many cultures that the pleasure of sexual intercourse may be secured at the cost of vigour and wellbeing

  • If these findings are replicated, there are implications for health promotion programmes

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