Disparities between Men and Women – Role of Heart Attack on Sexual Function

A new research study has been trying to investigate the differences in the sexual functioning as well as quality of intimate relationship between men and women after the incidence of a heart attack. This effort is purely made to devise better ways of forming guidelines to help patients effectively.

The research study was instilled in the University of Chicago. The study findings were published in a journal called JAMA Cardiology. The study was able to show that impaired sexual functioning is not uncommon after a heart attack. The rate of impaired sexual functioning is similar to that of the general physical function loss. Though, there is a higher chance of having depression after a heart attack. But, such issues are not really addressed by health care professionals, especially in case of women.

In many cases researchers as well as physicians find it very embarrassing to ask patients questions related to their sexual health. But, these questions are really important to some people as sexual health is an integral part of an individual’s life. This was stated by Harlan Krumholz from the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, also a professor at Yale. He also mentions that it is crucial for people to gain more information and knowledge regarding ways of helping patients to lead a high quality life in every sphere.

The data from the study was able to show that when medical health professionals speak regarding sexual health and functioning to their patients, they are more likely to indulge in sexual intercourse and resume it. Though, it is difficult for women to get counselled by their physicians with respect to what is expected and what the problem areas are in sexual functioning after a heart attack. The study was able to estimate that about 59 percent of women, little more than half, and 46 percent men, a little less than half, reported of experiencing problems related to the sexual functioning after a year of having a heart attack. This shows that there is a slight disparity between the two genders. This was majorly devised for knowing what the differences are and consequently finding out ways of approaching the two parties to ensure a better quality of life.

According to Stacy Tessler Lindau, from the University of Chicago, the next step in reaching the goal would incorporate designing an optimal intervention that aims to improve the sexual functioning in people who have experienced a heart attack, for both men and women. Lindau was also the author of the research study. The intervention will begin with rehabilitation. The rehabilitation phase will start with counselling the patients by the cardiologist regarding what capabilities he or she has with respect to sexual functioning. His or her expectation should also be managed in the counselling process. This will include three major dimensions, namely sexual functioning, psychological functioning, and physical functioning.

The study hopes to create an effective intervention for people to resume their lives back to normal as quickly as they can after undergoing a heart attack.

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