Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Differences in Health Outcomes between Older Gay and Heterosexual Men

Thanks to our colleagues at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research for this brand new study looking at differences in health outcomes between older gay/lesbian and heterosexual populations in California. Some highlights:
  • 50% of gay men live alone compared to 13% of heterosexual men.
  • 36% of gay men are partnered/married compared to 79% of heterosexual men.
  • Overall, older gay men's health is worse than that of their heterosexual peers.
These findings are very consistent with what we know from other studies (yet, ethnic minority older gay folks are not well represented in these data, so we can not make generalizations to all older gay men in the State).

Now, let's not jump to quick and easy conclusions that patologize single life or call for marriage. What we should gather from these data is that older gay men (along with lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people) are changing the face of aging and that their health is uniquely fragile.

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