But little research has been done on cardiovascular health in sexual minorities.
A new report indicates that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are more likely to develop heart disease than their heterosexual counterparts.
Researchers at Miami’s Baptist Health South Florida Clinic researched data from more than 2,400 adults, including a diverse sampling of medical interviews and personal health exams. Only about 5% identified as gay or bisexual but, according to lead researcher Anshul Saxena, they face a “disproportionately high risk” for heart problems: LGB subjects were 36% more likely to fall outside of the healthy range of cardiovascular wellness.
They were also more likely to be smokers or have high blood pressure, two factors the American Heart Association (AHA) says contribute to increased risk of heart problems.
Experts say the findings highlight the growing issue of cardiovascular health disparities in the gay community, and the need for more targeted studies.
“We have relatively little research that can assess the health and wellbeing of sexual minorities and inform culturally appropriate interventions that target heart disease risks in this population,” AHA chair Wayne Rosamond told The Independent. “But as our population become more and more diverse, the urgency to address the social dynamic of cardiovascular disease will only persist.”