Shortness of breath during sexual activity is common for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new, small study finds.
This breathlessness, also known as dyspnea, can inhibit healthy sex lives and is more common among COPD patients than even heart failure patients.
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COPD is a term used to describe certain lung conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
“We compared measures of well-being, depression and sexual function among older patients with severe COPD or heart failure, both of which are associated with dyspnea during exertion,” said Dr. Ejvind Frausing Hansen, chief physician at Hvidovre Hospital in Denmark. “Dyspnea at exertion can also limit daily activities and increase the risk of poor well-being, social isolation, and depression,” he said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.
In conducting the study, the researchers asked 39 patients with COPD and 22 patients with heart failure about their well-being, symptoms of depression and sexual function.