Health and Access to Care in the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Population: Results from a National Study

Gilbert Gonzales, University of Minnesota
Julia Przedworski, University of Minnesota

Public health research on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults has been limited in size and scope. Ongoing discourse surrounding same-sex marriage also requires a closer examination on how marriage influences health in LGB populations. Data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey were used to compare health outcomes, health behaviors and access to health care among a nationally representative sample of LGB adults (n=775) and their heterosexual peers (n=32,529). Gay men were more likely to report heart disease, cigarette smoking and unmet dental care compared to heterosexual men. Bisexual men exhibited greater odds of psychological distress and fair/poor health. Lesbian and bisexual women were more likely to report obesity and unmet mental health care. Differences in health and access to care diminished when stratifying adults to those who were married. This study confirms substantial disparities in LGB health and provides early evidence on the benefits to same-sex marriage.

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Presented in Session 155: Health of Sexual Minorities