With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, research shows that only a quarter of Brits are aware that sex can help prevent heart disease.

This is among the revealing attitudes towards sex uncovered in research by pharmaceutical manufacturer Thornton & Ross (T&R).

T&R’s parent company STADA conducted research* into attitudes towards sex, contraception and sexual health across 12 European countries as part of its latest Health Report. In the UK, 2,010 people aged between 18 and 99 were questioned as part of 24,087 respondents across the different European countries.

It found that barely a quarter of Brits – 27 per cent – realised that sex can help prevent heart disease, a figure way below the 42 per cent average. Only 18 per cent knew it could help fight obesity, again behind the survey average of 25 per cent.

We were, however, more conscious that it can promote healthy sleep, with more than four fifths (84 per cent) aware that getting intimate with your partner can help ensure a good night’s rest.

But if you have a runny nose, you might be in for a lonely night. Just one in five Brits would have sex with their partner if they had a cold and less than a third would give them a kiss – showing no other nation is as turned off sex by a cold as the UK.

T&R, part of the STADA Group, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of branded over-the-counter medicines, dermatological solutions and other healthcare and hygiene products including KY Jelly®, Zoflora®, Hedrin® and Setlers® at its headquarters in Huddersfield.