A Profile of North Carolina Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Health Disparities, 2011

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Abstract

Objectives

We investigated the health profile of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults in North Carolina, the first state in the South to include a measure of sexual orientation identity in a probability-based statewide health survey.

Methods

Using data from 9876 respondents in the 2011 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, we compared sexual minorities to heterosexuals on a variety of health indicators.

Results

LGB respondents were younger and more likely to be reached by cell phone. Many examined indicators were not different by sexual orientation. Significant results, however, were consistent with findings from state population surveys in other regions of the country, including disparities in mental health and, among women, smoking.

Conclusions

Reporting LGB identity in North Carolina is associated with poorer health. The concentration of anti-LGB policies in the South warrants ongoing monitoring of LGB health disparities in North Carolina and in other Southeastern states for potential effects on the health and well-being of LGB populations.

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