Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to get heart disease

8 November 2018, 17:45

Two women react during the Gay Pride parade on September 17, 2017 in Belgrade.
Lesbian and bisexual women are at higher risk of heart disease. Picture: Getty
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

The trauma of abuse and neglect they're statistically more likely to face could contribute to it, according to actual science.

Researchers at the Columbia University School of Nursing analysed 547 lesbian and bisexual women to discover if abuse, neglect and other trauma were linked with higher reports of cardiovascular problems that contribute to heart disease. Heart disease occurs when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. It's a major cause of death worldwide but can be treated with lifestyle changes and surgery.

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They measured three forms of trauma the women experienced during childhood and adulthood, which included physical and sexual abuse, as well as overall lifetime trauma. Childhood neglect and domestic violence were also measured. Lifetime trauma was then determined by the overall total, Metro reported.


But it's not just trauma that is putting LGBTQ women at risk.

Researchers also found that LGBTQ girls are more likely than straight women to be stressed. This might lead them to smoke tobacco, binge drink and be overweight, all of which put them at greater risk.

In addition, the study found lesbian and bisexual women are almost 60% more likely to have diabetes, more than 40% more likely to be depressed or report overeating and 30% more likely to have anxiety. They are also at higher risk of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and feeling like they have less social support.

Dr Billy Caceres, of Columbia University School of Nursing in the US, said: "These findings suggest healthcare providers should screen for trauma as a cardiovascular disease risk factor in this population, according to the authors."

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