Thomas Fekete, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M10-0861.
Requests for Single Reprints: Thomas Fekete, MD, Section of Infectious Diseases, Temple University School of Medicine, 3401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140; email@example.com.
Fekete T. Life Begins at Forty. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:49-50. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-1-201007060-00011
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(1):49-50.
In 1935, shortly before his death in a plane crash, the actor-humorist Will Rogers starred in the movie Life Begins at Forty. Since then, this phrase has appeared in songs by Sophie Tucker and John Lennon. In this issue, a study by Jena and colleagues (1) reminds us that men older than 40 years remain sexually active, even if they need chemical assistance to do so. This study also serves as a reminder that sex after age 40 years is not necessarily safe.
Sexual activity in the middle and later years, whatever its limitations, is safer than during adolescence and young adulthood, with regard to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In adults older than 40 years, rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are much lower than in late adolescence and early adulthood, whereas for syphilis, the disparity is smaller (2). However, the age-related difference in risk for STDs has been eroding over recent decades—rates have been increasing among older adults. Studies document a doubling in STDs among older persons from 1996 to 2003 in the United Kingdom (3) and a diminished discrepancy in the incidence of STDs between teens and younger adults and older adults in the United States (4).
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Infectious Disease, Sexually Transmitted Infections.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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