Lesbian and bisexual (LB) women are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes as compared to heterosexual women. This is according to a study undertaken by Diabetes Care. Discrimination, coupled with violence, leads to increased stress in LB women. This is what is referred to as minority stress: Stress related to one’s marginalized status. Minority stress may increase the chances of LB women contracting type 2 diabetes.
Is It True?
The research focused on 94,250 women. One percent of the women (around 1,277) were either bisexual or lesbian. The remaining identified as heterosexual. The study was undertaken for a total of 24 years, from 1989 to 2013, with the women aged between 24 and 44 as of 1989.
After the study was concluded, over six thousand women were reported to be suffering from type 2 diabetes. The women with type 2 diabetes had a higher BMI. Lesbians and bisexual women had higher chances of contracting the disease and a higher body mass index, with a 27% possibility.
LB women also experienced problems with diabetes earlier on in life as compared to heterosexual women. Having diabetes earlier on in life means that they will have to cope with the disease longer, meaning they ran a higher risk of diabetes-related health complications.
What Does Minority Stress Have To Do With Diabetes?
The study found that discrimination, coupled with violence, leads to increased stress in LB women. They formed the opinion that minority stress increased women’s BMI. Therefore, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes in LB women are high.
It is, therefore, crucial for lesbian and bisexual women to not only seek medical help for diabetes. LB women should seek advice on how to cope with other contributors to type 2 diabetes-like minority stress.