What Might Sexual Orientation Mean for Heart Health?


Heart disease risk is higher in bisexual men than in heterosexual men, based on several modifiable risk factors, suggests a study conducted at New York University.

The NYU researchers looked at differences in several types of risk factors in gay men, bisexual men, heterosexual men who have sex with men, and heterosexual men:

  • modifiable risk factors for heart disease (tobacco use, binge drinking, stress levels, and diet and exercise, for example)
  • biological risk factors (like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol)
  • diagnoses of heart disease as indicated by angina, heart failure, heart attack, or stroke

The study involved data on 7,731 men 20 to 59 who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2012).

Although the researchers did not find significant differences in heart disease diagnoses based on sexual orientation, heart disease risk appeared to be more complicated. Gay men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual men who have sex with men had similar heart disease risk, but bisexual men had higher rates of factors such as mental stress, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes than heterosexual men.

Sourced from: LGBT Health