Social Isolation May Hurt Health of Gay Older Adults

Published: March 30, 2011

Despite good incomes and access to health care, gay older adults in California have more health problems than their straight counterparts, according to a new study.

The report, released today (March 30) by the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research, found that aging gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in California have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and disability than older straight adults. Mental health problems were also more prevalent in older gay Californians compared with heterosexuals.

Social isolation and lack of family support might be the reason for these extra health problems, study researcher Steven Wallace, a professor of public health at UCLA, said in a statement accompanying the report.

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