Health

Gay, lesbian and bisexual adults in the US are more likely to have poor health, study claims

Amy West April 25, 2018
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Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health issues, a new study has revealed.

It’s believed that a significant percentage of the symptoms brought about can be explained by ‘the minority stress model’.

The model – detailed by Ilan H. Meyer of Columbia University and the City University of New York – claims that stressors can be anything from internalised homophobia, negative social attitudes and actual instances of intolerance violence.

A study published in the journal ‘Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity’ describes this whole phenomenon as ‘stigma-induced stress’.

According to Vice Tonic, the research reveals that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are not only more likely to develop mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, they also have an increased risk of suffering from physical health problems too.

According to the research, poor overall health is common among LGB adults and chances that certain individuals within the community could develop cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions are heightened.

LGB people have a heightened chance of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes (Pexels)

It goes on to state that the bodily health problems LGB people often face are frequently caused by stress, and in turn, the absence of a good night’s sleep. It is expected that the added emotional strain is caused by “frequent experiences with prejudice and discrimination.”

Serious lack of sleep also increasing the risk of someone developing high blood pressure and difficulties relating to sex.

It is recommended that those aged between 18-64 get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Any more than nine can also be detrimental to health.

In December 2017, researchers at the National Centre for Health Statistics in the US released survey results that also showed LGB people have more trouble sleeping than their straight counterparts.

It is believed that gay, lesbian and bisexual people have serious difficulty getting a good night’s sleep

The study, which was carried over two years and involved 10,000 men and women, found that gay men had difficulty falling asleep; lesbians struggled with staying asleep and bisexual women suffered from both issues.

It also stated that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are more likely to use medication to ensure they get a restful night.

Authors of the study claim that no other group suffer to the same extent and they suggest that “seeking to better understand [the] differences may help identify why certain sexual orientation groups are at risk for poorer sleep quality.”

They conclude by saying that said understanding might help improve “overall health among sexual minority groups.”

Related topics: lgb

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