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J Sex Med. 2011 Apr;8(4):1123-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02174.x. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Does metabolic syndrome impair sexual function in middle- to old-aged women?

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medical Research Institute, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.



To date, there are few studies dealing with the impact of metabolic syndrome (MS) on female sexual function, and the association between MS and female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in middle- to old-aged women remains unclear.


To evaluate the impact of MS on sexual function in middle- to old-aged women.


From May 2009 to January 2010, we performed a cross-sectional study of sexually active women (≥ 40 years old) who visited a health-screening clinic. Comprehensive history taking, anthropometric measurement, laboratory testing, and questionnaire administration were performed for each of the total 773 women enrolled.


The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was used to assess the key dimensions of female sexual function.


The median age of enrolled subjects was 48 (40-65) years, and the rates of MS and FSD were 12.2% (94/773) and 54.7% (423/773), respectively. We found that the demographics of women with and without MS (P < 0.05) differed significantly from one another in terms of age, menopausal status, body mass index, educational status, household income, and urinary incontinence (UI) symptoms, although their frequency of FSD was similar (52.1% vs. 55.1%). After adjusting clinical confounders, we found that only the pain domain score was significantly different between women with MS and without MS, while the total FSFI score and other constituent domain scores showed little difference between the two groups. However, in the multivariate logistic regression model, MS and most of its components were not associated with FSD; only age, menopausal status, smoking, depression, and symptomatic UI proved to be independent risk factors for FSD (P < 0.05).


Our study suggests that MS may have little impact on sexual function in middle- to old-aged women. Further studies with population-based and longitudinal design should be conducted to confirm this finding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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