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Britons turned off sex, another NHS hospital review urged and why it's never too late to start exercising

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 26 November.

Modern life is turning people off sex, reports the BBC this morning, as money worries and the wonders of social media distract people too much. But as the Independent points out, the latest National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles also shows that women have caught up with men in terms of the ‘sexual revolution’ (and even overtaken them when it comes to same-sex relationships) but are still paying the biggest price in terms of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

Professor Kaye Wellings, from the London School of Tropical Medicine and one of the authors of the report, said: ‘We do see a progressive decrease in the onset of sexual activity and at the same time we see an increase in the age of first cohabitation and of becoming a parent. Because those intervals have increased, the length of time the individuals are more at risk of adverse sexual health outcomes has increased.’

‘Women are more likely to have had a sexually transmitted infection and are obviously more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy.’

Elsewhere, the BBC says the Royal College of Surgeons is calling for a review of the standards of care at all Welsh hospitals to calm ‘public anxiety’, saying it is worried about poor performance and wants ‘urgent reassurance’. In a report, the college said it was particularly concerned about high numbers of patients dying while waiting for heart operations and about long waiting times in general.

The Welsh Government said there was no need for a review.

But Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd, who recently led a review of NHS complaints in England, said the college’s report should be listened to.

She said: ‘I think it will shine a light on what are very serious concerns - long waiting lists, long waits for diagnosis in the first place compared to England, and a number of patients - particularly in cardiac surgery - dying on waiting lists.’

Finally, it’s never too late to start exercising, say researchers who found even taking up exercise in your sixties will boost your chance of ageing healthily.

As reported by the Telegraph, the study of around 3,500 people, average age 64, showed people who were already active and remained consistently so over the eight-year study period were seven times as likely to be classed as a ‘healthy ager’ as those who remained inactive. But even people who took up exercise during the study were three times as likely to age healthily as inactive people.

Reporting their findings in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the researchers wrote: ‘This study supports public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity, even those who are of advanced age.’

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