MAASTRICHT, Netherlands, June 24 (UPI) -- Swingers, straight couples who swap sex partners or have group sex, have some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, Dutch researchers said.
The researchers at the University of Maastricht based their findings on the data on patients seeking treatment in 2007 and 2008 at three sexual health clinics in South Limburg, Netherlands.
During the study period, there were just under 9,000 consultations at the three clinics, in which 12 percent were identified as swingers -- with an average age of 43.
The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, found swingers were among those with the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections -- young people and gay men.
The combined rates of Chlamydia and gonorrhea were 10 percent among straight people, 14 percent among gay men, just under 5 percent in female prostitutes and 10.4 percent among swingers. Female swingers had higher infection rates than male swingers.
Fifty-five percent of all diagnoses in the those age 45 and older were in swingers, compared with 31 percent in homosexual men.
"While other risk groups for sexually transmitted infections, such as young straight people and gay men, are systematically identified at sexually transmitted infections healthcare facilities and provided with appropriate services, this is generally not the case for swingers," the authors said in a statement.