Friday, January 16, 2009

New York City MSM more likely to be in excellent health

More evidence that gay men are more likely to be in excellent health than straight men...
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene kindly makes data from its BRFSS available online.
Since 2002, they have been asking men their sexual orientation and also whether they have sex with men. Although the sexual orientation data is in there, it is not accessible on the website broken down by gender. But the sex with men variable is, so I used that as the closest approximation until I can get my hands dirty with the SAS programming.

The upshot is that in 5 out of 6 years, men who have sex with men were more likely to be in excellent health, after age-adjusting, than their (mostly) heterosexual counterparts.

When averaging the six years together, 27.5% (24.4%-30.6%) of New York City's MSM population were in excellent health, compared to 21.5% (20.7%-22.3%) of mostly heterosexual men in New York City.

That's very similar to the results from CHIS. After combining data from 2003,2005 & 2007, the proportion of California gay men in excellent health is 26.6% (23.1%-30.2%), compared to 22.1% (21.5%-22.6%) of straight men in California. These results are not age-adjusted like the NYC results, but I don't think that would make much difference.

Anyone want to speculate as to why gay men (at least in California and New York City, if not Canada) are more likely to be in excellent health than straight men? What lessons can straight men learn from us to be healthier?

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