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Am J Public Health. 2006 Jun;96(6):1119-25. Epub 2006 May 2.

Sexual orientation and mental and physical health status: findings from a Dutch population survey.

Author information

1
HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Dr, Unit 15, New York, NY 10032, USA. tgs2001@columbia.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to determine whether sexual orientation is related to mental and physical health and health behaviors in the general population.

METHODS:

Data was derived from a health interview survey that was part of the second Dutch National Survey of General Practice, carried out in 2001 among an all-age random sample of the population. Of the 19685 persons invited to participate, 65% took part in the survey. Sexual orientation was assessed in persons aged 18 years and older and reported by 98.2% of 9684 participants. The respondents' characteristics are comparable with those of the Dutch general population.

RESULTS:

Gay/lesbian participants reported more acute mental health symptoms than heterosexual people and their general mental health also was poorer. Gay/lesbian people more frequently reported acute physical symptoms and chronic conditions than heterosexual people. Differences in smoking, alcohol use, and drug use were less prominent.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found that sexual orientation was associated with mental as well as physical health. The causal processes responsible for these differences by sexual orientation need further exploration.

PMID:
16670235
PMCID:
PMC1470639
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2004.058891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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