Sexual orientation identity in relation to unhealthy body mass index: individual participant data meta-analysis of 93 429 individuals from 12 UK health surveys

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Public Health

Authors

J. Semlyen, T.J. Curtis and J. Varney

Publication date

Summary

Background: Lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are more likely than heterosexual adults to experience worse health outcomes. Despite increasing public health interest in the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight, no study has considered sexual orientation identity (SOI) and unhealthy BMI categories among adults in the UK population. Methods: Individual participant data meta-analysis using pooled data from population health surveys reporting on 93 429 adults with data on SOI, BMI and study covariates. Results: Adjusting for covariates and allowing for between-study variation, women identifying as lesbian (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.16, 1.72) or bisexual (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.48) were at increased risk of overweight/obesity compared to heterosexual women, but men identifying as gay were at decreased risk (OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.85) compared to heterosexual men. Increased risk of being underweight was seen for women identifying as ‘other’ (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.56), and men identifying as gay (OR = 3.12, 95% CI: 1.83, 5.38), bisexual (OR = 2.30, 95% CI: 1.17, 4.52), ‘other’ (OR = 3.95, 95% CI: 1.85, 8.42). Conclusions: The emerging picture of health disparities in this population, along with well documented discrimination, indicate that sexual orientation should be considered as a social determinant of health.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy224

ISSN

16

Subjects

Health, Surveys and Sociology

Notes

Online Early; Open Access; © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.