Friday, January 16, 2009

Canadian Gay Men Only Slightly Healthier than Straight Men

Came across a neat study done by Statistics Canada. They interviewed about 260,000 Canadians for the study in 2003 & 2005 (Canadian Community Health Survey, CCHS). They found that gay men were slightly more likely to be in "very good or excellent" physical health (65.4%) than heterosexual men (63.9%, difference not statistically significant) but slightly less likely to be in "very good or excellent" mental health (73.8% vs. 75.4%, also not statistically significant).

I used the population from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) that most closely matches the Canadian study for comparison, adults aged 18-59 interviewed in 2003 & 2005, and lumped "excellent" and "very good" the same way they did. In California, 61.2% of gay-identified men reported "very good or excellent" general health, versus 54.3% of heterosexual men, a much larger difference.

The first thing that jumps out at me is that Canadian men seem to be a much healthier lot no matter what their sexual orientation is.

But it does leave me scratching my head - why are gay men more likely to be in excellent health than straight men in California - but not necessarily so in Canada, which has had a much friendlier political climate? Hmmmm...

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