“…further study was needed to show whether gay and bisexual people were disproportionately affected by more serious chronic respiratory illnesses…”
I think further study is needed to show WHY gay and bisexual people are disproportionately affected by respiratory illnesses from smoking. If the higher rate is simply down to gays and lesbians being more likely to smoke, then it doesn’t really show anything. The numbers who “had ever smoked” seem very low to me.
Did this study even take into account the fact that there are LESS LGBT people than there are straight people? To get an actual accurate result, you’d have to test every single person in the country or on the planet. I bet these researchers are also the ones responsible for concluding that listening to too much music or breathing outdoor air gives you “cancer.”
“Young lesbian, gay and bisexual smokers may be more at risk of respiratory illnesses than their straight counterparts, a study suggests.”
Studies on young lesbian, gay and bisexual smokers may be more at risk of methodological error than studies on their straight counterparts, a reader suggests.
The headline and text of this article implies there is a causal link between homosexuality, bisexuality and respiratory illness. In fact the research merely observed that sexual minorities are more likely to smoke and thus they found a higher incidence of acute respiratory illness (see http://www.springerlink.com/content/j9717l7378885136/?p=263d83c4bf834f0184404ab0c3ed4477&pi=1 for abstract). Indeed, the programme for the conference at which the Paper was originally presented observed, “A growing body of evidence suggests that LGBT people have a substantially greater risk of developing cancer than the general population. Increased risk is not a result of physiological or biochemical difference but one of behaviors, many of which, such as smoking and drinking, are traced to stresses of discrimination and homophobia” (see page 22. http://www.glma.org/_data/n_0001/resources/live/GLMA_Program_Final_Web.pdf).
Kris Jones writes:
The headline and text of this article implies there is a causal link between homosexuality, bisexuality and respiratory illness. In fact the research merely observed that sexual minorities are more likely to smoke and thus they found a higher incidence of acute respiratory illness
I think that is a very good thing to point out.
I smoked a lot when I was a teenager and in my twenties. I stopped at age thirty seven. I did it by “cold turkey”, I just decided one night that I’d stop. Woke up the following day and did not have a cigarette that day. Then I stuck with that for each day until eventually I stopped remembering to resolve not to smoke the following day.
It seems plausible to me that gay and lesbian teenagers in America might be more susceptible to respiratory diseases from smoking, simply because they are under greater stress levels from societal disapproval, social exclusion and so forth. Not only might higher stress levels encourage more of them to take up smoking, and to smoke more heavily and more often, but it could very well help to deplete their immune systems and thus make them more vulnerable to the attendant illnesses.
I suspect that one might find similar results among other groups in high-stress situations. If so the only real solution is to improve social acceptance of homosexuality in American society.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics!
This all sounds highly flaky. Why should LGBT people be more prone to streptococcal infection than anyone else?
I could say it’s because gay men have more sexual partners than straight one, but that still wouldn’t account for the lesbians.
I think it has always been common knowledge that gays smoke far more than straights, and anyone that would visit a gay bar before the smoking ban would have easily seen this. My theory was that gay people were probably more stressed due to their lifestyle than straights, but I think the new generation are more at ease, as well as being more aware of the health implications than previously, so it appears to be balancing out.