June 21, 2024

Significant Premature Mortality Disparities Uncovered Between Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Women: A Groundbreaking Study

A recent study published in JAMA on April 25, 2023, sheds light on a concerning health disparity between sexual minority women, including lesbians and bisexual women, and their heterosexual counterparts. This research is one of the largest to investigate sexual orientation-related inequities in mortality and the first to differentiate between lesbian and bisexual women.

Decades of research have shown that sexual minority women experience poorer health outcomes compared to heterosexual women. However, there has been a lack of focus on mortality inequities, and no previous studies have examined these disparities among different sexual minority subgroups in women.

The new study, spearheaded by researchers from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Utah, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Columbia University, reveals that these health disparities have significant consequences. The findings indicate that:

– Bisexual women died 37% sooner than heterosexual women.
– Lesbian women died 20% sooner than heterosexual women.

The researchers emphasized that these sexual orientation-related disparities in mortality underscore the urgent need to address preventable causes, especially in the context of the increasingly unfavorable policy climate for LGBTQ individuals in the United States.

Lead author Sarah McKetta, a Research Fellow at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, stated, “These findings highlight the importance of addressing preventable causes of premature mortality among sexual minority women, particularly in the current policy climate that may exacerbate health disparities.”

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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