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Selected Diagnosed Chronic Conditions by Sexual Orientation: A National Study of US Adults, 2013
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    Research is needed on chronic health conditions among lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. The objective of this study was to examine 10 diagnosed chronic conditions, and multiple (≥2) chronic conditions (MCC), by sexual orientation among US adults.


    The 2013 National Health Interview Survey was used to generate age-adjusted prevalence rates and adjusted odds ratios of diagnosed chronic conditions and MCC for civilian, noninstitutionalized US adults who identified as gay/lesbian, straight, or bisexual, and separately for men and women. Chronic conditions were selected for this study on the basis of previous research.


    Hypertension and arthritis were the most prevalent conditions for all groups. Gay/lesbian adults had a 4.7 percentage-point higher prevalence of cancer than bisexual adults, and a 5.6 percentage-point higher prevalence of arthritis and a 2.9 percentage point higher prevalence of hepatitis than straight adults. The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was 8.1 percentage points higher among bisexual adults than among gay/lesbian adults and 7.0 percentage points higher than among straight adults. These differences remained in the multivariate analyses. Additional differences were found in the sex-stratified analyses. No significant differences were found in MCC by sexual orientation.


    After age adjustment and controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, only a few significant health disparities for diagnosed chronic conditions were found by sexual orientation, and none for MCC. However, for conditions where differences were found, magnitudes were relatively large. Further examination of these differences among gay/lesbian and bisexual adults could yield a better understanding of why these disparities exist.

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