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Investigating the Associations of Sexual Minority Stressors and Incident Hypertension in a Community Sample of Sexual Minority Adults.

Authors
  • Caceres, Billy A1, 2
  • Sharma, Yashika1, 2
  • Levine, Alina3
  • Wall, Melanie M3
  • Hughes, Tonda L1, 2
  • 1 Columbia University School of Nursing, 560 West 168th Street, Room 603, New York, NY 10032, USA.
  • 2 Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research, Columbia University School of Nursing, 560 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.
  • 3 Department of Biostatistics, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Publication Date
Nov 16, 2023
Volume
57
Issue
12
Pages
1004–1013
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaac073
PMID: 37306778
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

High blood pressure (HBP) is a major public health concern in the USA. Sexual minority adults (such as gay/lesbian or bisexual) are at greater risk of HBP than heterosexual adults. However, the reasons for this difference have not been studied. Sexual minority stressors are unique stressors specific to sexual minority individuals. Multiple studies have shown that sexual minority stressors, such as internalized homophobia (defined as someone’s internalization of negative societal values towards sexual minority individuals), stigma consciousness (defined as the extent that someone expects to be stereotyped), and experiences of discrimination due to sexual identity, are associated with poor health outcomes. Yet, the relationship between these stressors and HBP has not been studied in this population. In our study, we examined the associations between sexual minority stressors and newly diagnosed HBP among sexual minority adults. Those who reported more internalized homophobia had a higher likelihood of developing HBP within 7 years. There were no significant associations between other sexual minority stressors and HBP. We also found no differences in the associations of sexual minority stressors and HBP by race/ethnicity or sexual identity. Findings highlight the importance of educating healthcare professionals about risk factors for hypertension in sexual minority adults.

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