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Objectives Population-representative studies of the sexual health of middle-aged and older adults are lacking in ageing societies. This study aimed to identify latent patterns of sexual behaviours and health of people aged 45–74 years.

Methods We conducted a latent class analysis of the National Attitudes and Sexual Lifestyles Survey (Natsal-3), a nationally representative survey conducted in Britain in 2011.

Results Of the 5260 respondents aged 45–74 years, 48.86% of men and 44.91% of women belonged to the Content Caseys class who reported good sexual health. The Infrequent Indigos (30.94% of men, 44.38% of women) were characterised by a lack of sexual activity, reported some dissatisfaction, and were more likely to have a disability. The Low-Functioning Lees (11.65% of men, 8.41% of women) reported some more disability and had issues with sexual functioning and higher levels of distress. The Multiple-Partnered Morgans (8.62% of men, 2.30% of women) were characterised by a greater number of sexual partners and several risk behaviours.

Conclusions The use of these four classes can aid in improved targeting of tailored sexual health services to improve sexual function, sexual satisfaction, reduce distress and risky behaviours among middle-aged and older adults. These services should be inclusive of the disabled community.


This article was originally published in Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2022.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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