Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lesbian and gay young people in England twice as likely to smoke and drink alcohol

Date:
August 29, 2013
Source:
University College London - UCL
Summary:
Young people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are twice as likely to have smoked than their heterosexual peers, according to new research. Lesbian and gay young people were also more likely to drink alcohol frequently and more hazardously.

Young people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are twice as likely to have smoked than their heterosexual peers, according to new research published in BMJ Open. Lesbian and gay young people were also more likely to drink alcohol frequently and more hazardously.

The interdisciplinary research team comprised researchers from five UK Universities (UCL, University of Cambridge, London Metropolitan University, De Montfort University Leicester and Brunel University), a doctor working in General Practice and a consultant from Public Health England.

The researchers looked at data from over 7,600 participants collected from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England. This representative sample of school pupils entered the study at age 13/14 and were followed for five years. All the participants were asked about their cigarette smoking and alcohol use. At age 18/19, they were asked about their sexual identity. This is the first UK study in which representative data has been available. Most previous research in this area has come from the US.

Young people who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual (3.5% of the sample) were around twice as likely as heterosexuals to have smoked during the follow-up.

Gay or lesbian participants were more likely to say that they drank alcohol frequently (more than weekly), and report hazardous alcohol drinking patterns (frequent intoxication).

Bisexual participants were more likely to have smoked but had similar alcohol use patterns to their heterosexual peers.

Lead researcher Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson, from the UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said: "Our research shows that despite recent social change, young people today who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are twice as likely to have smoked as their heterosexual peers. Gay and lesbian young people also appear to have more frequent and more hazardous alcohol drinking patterns than heterosexuals. Smoking and drinking alcohol frequently and hazardously can lead to chronic disease in later life, and so we should be worried about these health inequalities in this minority group and the longer term consequences they may face."

"From a public health perspective, we need to understand why young gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to engage in risky health behaviours than their heterosexual peers," continued Dr Hagger-Johnson. "This will need to involve longitudinal research, following a large sample of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people over time. We are concerned that 'minority stress', resulting from homophobia and heterosexism, might lead people to self-medicate symptoms of anxiety and depression with cigarettes and alcohol."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London - UCL. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Hagger-Johnson, R. Taibjee, J. Semlyen, I. Fitchie, J. Fish, C. Meads, J. Varney. Sexual orientation identity in relation to smoking history and alcohol use at age 18/19: cross-sectional associations from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE). BMJ Open, 2013; 3 (8): e002810 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002810

Cite This Page:

University College London - UCL. "Lesbian and gay young people in England twice as likely to smoke and drink alcohol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829093146.htm>.
University College London - UCL. (2013, August 29). Lesbian and gay young people in England twice as likely to smoke and drink alcohol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829093146.htm
University College London - UCL. "Lesbian and gay young people in England twice as likely to smoke and drink alcohol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829093146.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins