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Lesbian and bisexual women more likely to develop diabetes because they’re stressed, say experts

Jasmine Andersson May 8, 2018
sad woman

Lesbian and bisexual women are at greater risk of developing diabetes at a young age due to stress, a new medical study has shown.

The pioneering research, which has been carried out by San Diego State University, found that lesbian and bi women experience this “elevated risk” because their BMI is also generally higher.

To break it down, 94,250 women participated in the study to see if there was any relationship between the likelihood of developing the disease and a woman’s sexuality.

Around 1,267 women self-identified as lesbian or bisexual, the study found. 6,399 of the total sample of participants developed type 2 diabetes.

It was then that researchers found the disparity in the lesbian and bisexual women developing health complications.

“Despite inconclusive findings, there is a reason to suspect that [lesbian and bisexual] women may have disparities in chronic physical health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, because they are more likely than heterosexual women to have risk factors such as obesity, tobacco smoking, heavy alcohol drinking and stress-related exposures,” San Diego State University Heather L. Corliss wrote in the study.

“Minority stress is theorised to be a central reason why [lesbian and bisexual] women are at elevated risk for physical health problems including type 2 diabetes,” the report concludes.

In lesbian and bisexual women aged 40 and below, the likelihood of type 2 diabetes was more than twice as high as for heterosexual women of the same age range.

Depressed woman

The findings conclude that lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to develop the condition at a younger age.

Lesbian and bisexual women were said to have a higher BMI in the study.

Those at risk are advised to limit their vices: cigarettes, alcohol and high-sodium takeaways should be avoided.

In the UK, the NHS is also carrying out a Diabetes Prevention Programme across the country.

There has been an increasing concern for lesbian and bisexual-specific health support in the US since the Department of Health and Human Services removed the words lesbian and bisexual from its website.

The website  WomensHealth.gov removed references references to lesbian and bi health over the course of a month in September and October 2017, according to a joint report by the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project and shared with Politico.

The website is visited by 700,000 visitors a month.

“The outdated lesbian and bisexual health pages were removed and the health content was integrated into the relevant health topics pages across the website,” an HHS spokesperson told Politico in March.

More: bisexual, diabetes, Health, lesbian, life, US, Women, women's health

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