Health of LGB People

Posted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on August 11, 2014

This newly-released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided new information on the health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals in the United States.

Objective—To provide national estimates for indicators of health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access by sexual orientation using data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Methods—NHIS is an annual multipurpose health survey conducted continuously throughout the year. Analyses were based on data collected in 2013 from 34,557 adults aged 18 and over. Sampling weights were used to produce national estimates that are representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population. Differences in health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access by sexual orientation were examined for adults aged 18–64, and separately for men and women.

Results—Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as ‘‘something else,’’ stated ‘‘I don’t know the answer,’’ or refused to provide an answer. Significant differences were found in health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access among U.S. adults aged 18–64 who identified as straight, gay or lesbian, or bisexual.

Conclusion—NHIS sexual orientation data can be used to track progress toward meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals and objectives related to the health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. In addition, the data can be used to examine a wide range of health disparities among adults identifying as straight, gay or lesbian, or bisexual.

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