Sexual Orientation and Sex Differences in Adult Chronic Conditions, Health Risk Factors, and Protective Health Practices, Oregon, 2005–2008
Published Date:Aug 07 2014
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 11.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Health Status Disparities
Surveys And Questionnaires
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4723300
Funding:U50/DP000726/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U58/DP003980/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U59/EH000506/EH/NCEH CDC HHS/United States
Research on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals’ health and health practices has primarily consisted of convenience studies focused on HIV/AIDS, substance use, or mental illness. We examined health-related disparities among Oregon LGB men and women compared with heterosexual men and women using data from a population-based survey.
Data from the 2005 through 2008 Oregon Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to examine associations between sexual orientation and chronic conditions, health limitations, health risk factors, and protective health practices.
Compared with heterosexual women, lesbian and bisexual women were significantly more likely to smoke cigarettes, be obese, binge drink, and have chronic conditions, and less likely to engage in protective health practices. Compared with heterosexual men, gay men were significantly less likely to be obese, more likely to binge drink, and more likely to engage in protective health practices. Compared with heterosexual men, bisexual men were significantly more likely to have a physical disability, smoke cigarettes, binge drink, and more likely to get an HIV test.
Health disparities among Oregon LGB individuals were most prominent among lesbian and bisexual women. Gay men had the most protective health practices, but they were more likely than heterosexual men to engage in risky behaviors that lead to chronic diseases later in life. Targeted public health interventions should be provided in environments that avoid stigmatizing and discriminating against LGB individuals where they live, work, learn, and socialize.
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