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Study Measures Health Lifestyles of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals

Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:06:44 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Americans who identify themselves as gay, lesbian and bisexual appear to have unhealthier lifestyles than heterosexuals, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials learned of these disparities in a 2013 National Health Interview Survey, which asked 35,000 people about their sexual orientation.

Ninety-six percent of respondents claimed to be heterosexual, while 1.6 percent identified themselves as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 said they were bisexual.

As for the findings by the CDC, a third of gays and lesbians and four in 10 bisexuals admitted having five or more drinks on at least one day during the past year, compared to 26 percent of "straight" respondents.

The survey also revealed that more gays, lesbians and bisexuals smoke cigarettes than heterosexuals, while bisexuals were more apt to report serious psychological distress in the past 30 days than heterosexuals.

However, the differences in physical activity among the groups was negligible, as were those who reported being in good or excellent health.

Although the researchers warned that the estimates may not be entirely accurate because the sample size of gays, lesbians and bisexuals was relatively small, they did say the data would be helpful in addressing health problems among various groups.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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