HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Disparities in Mental Health and Health Risk Behaviors for LGBT Veteran Subgroups in a National U.S. Survey.
Lehavot K, Beaver K, Rhew I, Dashtestani K, Upham M, Shipherd J, Kauth M, Kaysen D, Simpson T. Disparities in Mental Health and Health Risk Behaviors for LGBT Veteran Subgroups in a National U.S. Survey. LGBT health. 2022 Nov 1; 9(8):543-554.
This study examined differences in mental health and health risk behaviors across sexual orientation and gender identity among U.S. veterans. Veterans were recruited through targeted social media advertising, community organizations, and listservs to complete an online survey (? = 1062). Generalized linear regression was used to evaluate differences in outcomes between subgroups, which included cisgender heterosexual men and women, lesbian women, gay men, bisexual men and women, transgender men and women, and veterans with other gender identities. Transgender men and women reported a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime suicide plans and attempts compared to all other subgroups within the respective genders. Beyond this finding, patterns of all outcomes varied by gender. Compared to other subgroups of men, transgender men reported higher prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder, whereas cisgender gay men reported higher prevalence of lifetime cocaine use and positive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status. Within the women subgroups, all LGBT subgroups reported higher prevalence of lifetime smoking and past-year marijuana use compared to heterosexual women. Cisgender lesbian women also reported higher prevalence of past-month heavy episodic drinking, and cisgender bisexual women reported higher prevalence of lifetime cocaine and stimulant use compared to other groups. Transgender women and men reported significantly higher prevalence of lifetime suicide plans and attempts than other groups, highlighting this as an area in need of urgent public health attention. Other disparity patterns indicated the importance of examining subgroups within the LGBT veteran community.