Horim Yi · Hyemin Lee · Jooyoung Park · Bokyoung Choi · Seung-Sup Kim
OBJECTIVES This study aims to investigate health disparities between lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults and the general population in Korea, where there is low public acceptance of sexual minorities and a lack of research on the health of sexual minorities. METHODS The research team conducted a nationwide survey of 2,335 Korean LGB adults in 2016. Using the dataset, we estimated the age-standardized prevalence ratios (SPRs) for poor self-rated health, musculoskeletal pain, depressive symptoms, suicidal behaviors, smoking, and hazardous drinking. We then compared the SPRs of the LGB adults and the general population which participated in three different nationally representative surveys in Korea. SPRs were estimated for each of the four groups (i.e., gay men, bisexual men, lesbians, and bisexual women). RESULTS Korean LGB adults exhibited a statistically significantly higher prevalence of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation and attempts, and musculoskeletal pain than the general population. Lesbian and bisexual women had a higher risk of poor self-rated health and smoking than the general women population, whereas gay and bisexual men showed no differences with the general men population. Higher prevalence of hazardous drinking was observed among lesbians, gay men, and bisexual women compared to the general population, but was not observed in bisexual men. CONCLUSIONS The findings suggest that LGB adults have poorer health conditions compared to the general population in Korea. These results suggest that interventions are needed to address the health disparities of Korean LGB adults.

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