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Gay Acres: Sexual Orientation Differences in Health Indicators Among Rural and Nonrural Individuals.
Farmer GW, Blosnich JR, Jabson JM, Matthews DD. Gay Acres: Sexual Orientation Differences in Health Indicators Among Rural and Nonrural Individuals. The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association. 2016 Jun 1; 32(3):321-31.
Geographic location is a significant factor that influences health status and health disparities. Yet, little is known about the relationship between geographic location and health and health disparities among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons. This study used a US population-based sample to evaluate the associations of sexual orientation with health indicators by rural/nonrural residence.
Data were pooled from the 10 states that collected sexual orientation in the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys. Rural status was defined using metropolitan statistical area, and group differences by sexual orientation were stratified by gender and rural/nonrural status. Chi-square tests for categorical variables were used to assess bivariate relationships. Multivariable logistic regression models stratified by gender and rural/nonrural status were used to assess the association of sexual orientation to health indicators, while adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, education, and partnership status. All analyses were weighted to adjust for the complex sampling design.
Significant differences between LGB and heterosexual participants emerged for several health indicators, with bisexuals having a greater number of differences than gay men/lesbians. There were fewer differences in health indicators for rural LGB participants compared to heterosexuals than nonrural participants.
Rural residence appears to influence the pattern of LGB health disparities. Future work is needed to confirm and identify the exact etiology or rural/nonrural differences in LGB health.