Adult lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGBs) differ from adult heterosexuals in several health measures, according to a study published online May 25 in Reports of national health statisticspublication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kevin S. Heslin, Ph.D., and Johanna M. Alfier, MA in Health Care, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattville, Maryland, reviewed access to care and state of healthbehavior and beliefs among LGB adults compared to heterosexual adults using data from the Multi-Year National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES: 2005-2018), the National Family Growth Survey (NSFG: 2011-2019) and the National Health Survey (NHIS: 2013-2018).

The authors note that LGBB adults differed from heterosexual adults in several health indicators in the three data systems. Compared to heterosexual people, bisexual men and women, gays, and lesbian women reported smoking and drunkenness (NHIS) and more frequent use of marijuana and illegal stimulants (NSFG). Lesbians and bisexual women reported diagnoses of arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension more often than heterosexual women (NHIS); bisexual women were more likely to have been reported to have ever been diagnosed with endometriosis, ovulation or menstrual problems, and pelvic inflammatory disease (NSFG). For men and women, NHANES anthropometric indicators also differed in sexual orientation.

“Taken together, the results of this study can help develop health programs and policies aimed at reducing disparities in sexual orientation and promoting health equity,” the authors write.

The study examines the health, risks for gays, bisexuals

Additional information:
CDC National Health Statistics Reports

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