Report: LGBT Individuals in Inland Empire Have More Chronic Illnesses
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Riverside and San Bernardino counties experience higher rates of certain chronic illnesses and other health issues, according to a report released last week, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The report -- which was released by Riverside County health officials -- noted that more than 4% of Riverside County residents identify as LGBT.
The report was based on the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research's California Health Interview Survey. The survey included 150 LGBT individuals from Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The report found that LGBT residents are more likely than the general population to experience:
- Depression; and
- Suicidal thoughts.
The report also found higher rates of asthma among individuals in same-sex relationships and higher rates of eating disorders among young LGBT individuals.
In addition, LGBT individuals had higher rates of certain unhealthy behaviors, such as:
- Binge drinking;
- Smoking; and
- Substance misuse (Olson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/26).
The report's authors recommended that:
- Health care providers undergo additional training on how to treat LGBT patients;
- Public schools develop and implement effective anti-bullying and anti-harassment programs; and
- California state laws and regulations that affect the mental and physical wellbeing of LGBT individuals be supported, promoted and enforced.