The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, also found 43 percent of the women reported at least moderate sexual desire, challenging conventional wisdom that women lose interest in sex due to their own physical problems.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco said half of all sexually active participants described their overall sexual satisfaction as moderate to high. More than one-quarter of women age 65 years or older remained moderately or highly interested in sex, and more than one-third of women in this age group had been sexually active in the past three months.
Among sexually inactive women in the entire group, 39 percent reported the most common reason was a lack of interest in sex, followed by 36 percent reporting lack of a partner, 23 percent citing physical problems of their partner and 11 percent saying there was a partner's lack of interest.
Nine percent of them report being sexually inactive because of personal physical problems.
African-American women were more likely than white women to report at least moderate desire, but less likely to report weekly sexual activity. Sexually active Latinas were more likely than white women to report at least moderate sexual satisfaction, the study revealed.