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Am J Public Health. 2000 April; 90(4): 573–578.
PMCID: PMC1446201

Lifetime prevalence of suicide symptoms and affective disorders among men reporting same-sex sexual partners: results from NHANES III.


OBJECTIVES: This study examined lifetime prevalence of suicide symptoms and affective disorders among men reporting a history of same-sex sexual partners. METHODS: In the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, men aged 17 to 39 years were assessed for lifetime history of affective disorders and sexual behavior patterns. The study classified this subset of men into 3 groups: those reporting same-sex sexual partners, those reporting only female sexual partners, and those reporting no sexual partners. Groups were compared for histories of suicide symptoms and affective disorders. RESULTS: A total of 2.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3%, 3.1%) of men reported same-sex sexual partners. These men evidenced greater lifetime prevalence rates of suicide symptoms than men reporting only female partners. However, homosexually/bisexually experienced men were no more likely than exclusively heterosexual men to meet criteria for lifetime diagnosis of other affective disorders. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide further evidence of an increased risk for suicide symptoms among homosexually experienced men. Results also hint at a small, increased risk of recurrent depression among gay men, with symptom onset occurring, on average, during early adolescence.

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Selected References

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