Gender impact on the correlation between sexuality and marital relation quality in patients with coronary artery disease

J Sex Med. 2008 Sep;5(9):2100-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00724.x. Epub 2008 Jan 22.


Introduction: Although the negative impact of coronary artery disease (CAD) on sexual and marital relation of the patients is known, data are lacking regarding possible gender difference.

Aim: We designed a study on patients with CAD to investigate sexual relation and marital adjustment and their association with regard to gender differences.

Main outcome measures: Questionnaires including the Dyadic Adjustment Scale for evaluating the couple's agreement on decisions and appropriate behavior, marital satisfaction, and marital cohesion, and the Relation and Sexuality Scale (RSS) for sexual function, frequency, and fear.

Methods: We surveyed 650 patients with documented CAD without any other major comorbidities.

Results: The patients were 464 men (73.1%) and 171 women (26.9%) with CAD. The mean age of the men and the women were 57.1 +/- 11.6 years and 56.3 +/- 9.7 years, respectively. The women had a significantly poorer dyadic adjustment and sexual relation than men, except for sexual fear, which was more prominent in men with CAD and their spouses. The sexual frequency and the total RSS scores correlated with all aspects of the patients' marital relation in both genders. However, only men suffered from a poorer dyadic satisfaction, dyadic consensus, affectional expression, and overall marital adjustment if they were more afraid of sexual relation. In women, but not men, sexual function was significantly associated with their dyadic satisfaction and their overall marital relation.

Conclusions: Poorer sexual relation and marital adjustment was detected in our women with CAD. To manage all the problems of the patients that may impact their cardiac status, we should consider factors such as fear of sexual activity in men sexual dysfunction in women, and their correlation with marital adjustment.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illness Behavior
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires