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Health & Families

Unhealthy habits can wreck your sex life, study reports

Turns out overeating, being sedentary, smoking, and drinking booze can dampen your sex drive and improve your odds of not having any sex.

A study announced July 6 found that vices contributed to sexual dysfunction in men, and unhealthy lifestyles are more common among both men and women who aren't sexually active.

Danish researchers surveyed more than 5,500 adult men and women, and found that unhealthy habits increase the chance of not having sex by up to 78 percent in men and 91 percent in women.

Among the men in the survey who had sexual partners, those with a large waistline had a 71 percent increase in the risk of sexual dysfunction. Hard drug users had an 800 percent increase in risk. For women, those who smoked hashish had three times the risk of losing the ability to climax during sex.

"Hopefully our findings can be used in future counseling of patients with unhealthy lifestyles," said study researcher Morten Frisch, of Statens Serum Institut in Denmark in a statement. "Knowing about possible negative consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle to one's sexual health may help people quit smoking, consume less alcohol, exercise more and lose weight."

The study was published in the  Journal of Sexual Medicine.

A recent study published in the same journal also found hair loss treatment medications, such as Propecia (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride), were linked to sexual dysfunction in men. Prior research has linked smoking to erectile dysfunction, claiming that the more you smoke, the higher your risk of impotence.

Access the new study's abstract: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02291.x/abstract