Sexual minorities who misuse alcohol or tobacco also have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder

Sexual minorities who misuse alcohol or tobacco also have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder

More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who misuse alcohol or tobacco also have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, compared to one-third of heterosexuals, a new University of Michigan study finds.

The degree of disparities in alcohol, tobacco and other psychiatric disorders by sexual identity was very surprising. The differences for women are more striking.”

Rebecca Evans-Polce, assistant research scientist at the U-M School of Nursing and first author of the study

For example, 63% of bisexual women who misused tobacco also had a psychiatric issue–anxiety or mood disorder or PTSD–compared to 46% of heterosexual women with a tobacco use disorder. Among those who met criteria for a past-year tobacco use disorder, bisexual women were also more likely to have PTSD (31%) compared with heterosexual women (13%), she said.

Discrimination, stress and childhood trauma were associated with greater odds of psychiatric disorders among lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals, with greater social support inversely associated with tobacco use disorder and coexisting psychiatric disorders.

Studies have shown that lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals have greater risk for both substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders, and the prevalence varies by gender. The U-M study is one of the few that looks at whether they are at greater risk for substance use disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorders, Evans-Polce said.

Bisexual women, compared to heterosexual women, had a particularly high prevalence of anxiety disorders, (32.5% vs.…

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