Prevalence increased with age, being lowest among younger participants (16–24 years; men: 11.5%; women: 24.8%) and peaking in men aged 35–44 years (17.2%) and in women aged 55–64 years (38.8%).
In women, after adjusting for age, those who were students or retired were less likely to lack desire.
After adjusting for age, there were associations between all physical and mental health variables assessed and lacking interest in sex.
The measure comprises items on problems with sexual response, relational aspects of sexual function and self-appraisal of sex life.23 24 Participants who reported at least one sexual partner in the past year (hereon ‘sexually active participants’) were asked, .
Those indicating this difficulty were defined as lacking interest in having sex for a period of ≥3 months in the past year (the outcome for this analysis).
In summary, the evidence on the factors associated with men’s and women’s reports of low sexual desire is drawn largely from non-representative samples, is somewhat equivocal and, in men, sparse.
Given that most previous research has involved non-representative samples, it is important to explore how correlates might differ in a population-based sample.
Results Overall, 15.0% (13.9–16.2) of men and 34.2% (32.8–35.5) of women reported lacking interest in sex.
This was associated with age and physical and mental health for both men and women, including self-reported general health and current depression.
When duration and symptom severity criteria are considered (ie, that symptoms last ≥6 months and occur ‘very often’ or ‘always’), these prevalence estimates are much lower,2 but the gender difference is maintained.