LGB Participants More Likely to Smoke and Binge Drink, Survey Shows

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18th July 2014 13:12 - Health

The US’ National Statistics Report has recently been published and provides a break-down of its participants’ sexual orientation and health behaviour.

According to the study, which was conducted with 34,557 US individuals aged 18+, 97.7% of its population is straight, with 1.6% declaring themselves as either gay or lesbian and 0.7% stating they were bisexual. The remaining respondents said they didn’t know (0.4%), were something else (0.2%) or refused to answer (0.6%).

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) participants (26%), on average, were more likely to be smokers than straight people (17.6%). Straight men (20.3) were more likely to be current smokers than straight women (15%).

Furthermore, LGB respondents (36%) were also more likely to admit to having drunk five or more alcoholic drinks in one day at least once in the past year than straight partakers (22%). Straight men (31%) were more than twice as likely to concede this as straight women (14%).

However, despite their apparently raised smoking and binge drinking tendencies, LGB participants (55%) were more likely to meet the federal guidelines for aerobic exercise than straight respondents (49%).

The number of interviewees who described their health status as very good or excellent was fairly similar across the board – gay or lesbian (60.3%), straight (60.6%) and bisexual (58.1%). Obesity levels were also relatively alike throughout – gay or lesbian (30%), straight (29%) and bisexual (35%).

Bisexual participants, however, were noticeably more likely to have endured serious psychological distress in the last 30 days (11%) than their gay or lesbian (5%) and straight (4%) counterparts.

Furthermore, gay or lesbian (67%) and bisexual (54%) participants were much more likely to have ever been tested for HIV than straight respondents (37%).

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