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Research from the UK indicates that there appears to be limited evidence available from which to draw general conclusions about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health because epidemiological studies have not incorporated sexuality as a factor in data collection. Review of research that has been undertaken suggests that there are no differences in terms of major health problems between LGBT people and the general population, although LGBT people generally appear to experience poorer health, with no information on common and major diseases, cancers or long-term health. Mental health appears worse among LGBT people than among the general population, with depression, anxiety and suicide ideation being 2–3 times higher than the general population. There appear to be higher rates of eating disorder and self-harm, but similar levels of obesity and domestic violence to the general population; lack of exercise and smoking appear more significant and drug use higher, while alcohol consumption is similar to the general population. Polycystic ovaries and infertility were identified as being more common amongst lesbians than heterosexual women. The research indicates noticeable barriers between LGB patients and health professionals, and the reasons suggested are homophobia, assumptions of heterosexuality, lack of knowledge, misunderstanding and over-caution; institutional barriers were identified as well, due to assumed heterosexuality, inappropriate referrals, lack of patient confidentiality, discontinuity of care, absence of LGBT-specific healthcare, lack of relevant psycho-sexual training. About 30 percent of all completed suicides have been related to sexual identity crisis. Students who also fall into the gay, bisexual, lesbian or trans gendered identity groups report being five times as more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied due to their sexual orientation.

Research points to issues encountered from an early age, such as LGBT people being targeted for bullying, assault, and discrimination, as contributing significantly to depression, suicide and other mental health issues in adulthood. Social research suggests that LGBT experience discriminatory practices in accessing healthcare.

One way that LGB individuals have attempted to deal with discriminatory health care is by seeking "queer-friendly" health care providers

wikipedia.org

 

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