Letters

Are sex and death related?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7145.1671a (Published 30 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1671

Study failed to adjust for an important confounder

  1. David Batty, Researcher
  1. University of Bristol, Exercise and Health Research Unit, Woodland House, Bristol BS8 2LU
  2. Lime Trees Child, Adolescent and Family Unit, York YO3 ORE
  3. Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS 2PR

    EDITOR—Davey Smith et al report a significant inverse relation between frequency of orgasm and mortality due to all causes and coronary heart disease in men; however, a failure to adjust for the energy expended during sexual activity may be a weakness of their work.1 The intensity level of sexual activity is equivalent to that of leisurely walking or strolling,2 and an increasing level of energy output, even when amassed during walking, is independently associated with a decreased risk of all cause mortality.3 This failure to adjust for the energy cost of sexual activity may be amplified if, as seems plausible, the more sexually active individuals have a stronger disposition to physical activity per se than their less virile counterparts.

    References

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    Study did not treat sexual behaviour with the importance it deserves

    1. Agnes Ayton, Specialist registrar in child and adolescent psychiatry
    1. University of Bristol, Exercise and Health Research Unit, Woodland House, Bristol BS8 2LU
    2. Lime Trees Child, Adolescent and Family Unit, York YO3 ORE
    3. Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS 2PR

      EDITOR—The article by Davey Smith et al on sexual behaviour and mortality was a disappointment.1 The topic is important, and the results should at least be correct. I was …

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