US Report: LGBT people die 12 years earlier in anti-gay areas

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According to a new report from Columbia University, LGBT people living in anti-gay parts of the US die on average 12 years earlier than those who live in more accepting areas.

The study, from the Mailman School of Public Health, shows that LGBT people in less tolerant places are more prone to suicide, and risk violence and stress-induced deaths.

Dr Mark Hatzenbuehler, one of the lead authors of the study, said: “Our findings indicate that sexual minorities living in communities with higher levels of prejudice die sooner than sexual minorities living in low-prejudice communities.”

The study revealed that 92% of gay people living in accepting communities were still alive compared to just 78% who lived in anti-gay environments.

The authors of the study concluded there was a direct causal link between violent deaths and hostile communities, where gay people were three times more likely to be victims of anti-gay attacks.

The report also revealed that gay people committed suicide at an average age of 37.5 in anti-gay areas, compared to an average of 55.7 for those who live elsewhere.

25% of deaths in less tolerant places were caused by cardiovascular diseases, compared to just 18.6% of deaths in communities where gay people did not experience as much stress.

Dr Hatzenbuehler added: “Psychosocial stressors are strongly linked to cardiovascular risk, and this kind of stress may represent an indirect pathway through which prejudice contributes to mortality.

“Discrimination, prejudice, and social marginalization create several unique demands on stigmatized individuals that are stress-inducing.”

The study, published online, can be viewed here.