File photo: The analysis, based on 1 000 pensioners aged between 65 and 80, discovered that one in five maintain a close interest in sex into their late seventies. Picture: Reuters

London - Age is no barrier to passion. Four in ten of us enjoy an active sex life after turning 65, a study has found. And two in three are still interested in keeping the flame alive.

The analysis, based on 1 000 pensioners aged between 65 and 80, discovered that one in five maintain a close interest in sex into their late seventies. However, there were differences in the attitudes of men and women. While 51 percent of men were sexually active after 65, only 31 percent of women were still pursuing passion.

And while 84 percent of older men regarded sex as an important part of a relationship, women were less enthusiastic, with 69 percent agreeing. Older women, however, were more likely than men to feel satisfied with their sex lives. 

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The researchers, from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, found that three quarters of those surveyed had a partner.

Dr Erica Solway of the University of Michigan said: "Sexual health among older adults doesn’t get much attention but is linked closely to quality of life, health and well-being."