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LGB People suffering from mental health

person sitting on a beach with rainbow flag draped around them
person sitting on a beach with rainbow flag draped around them Image credit:

A study compiled by the NHS suggests lesbian, gay and bisexual people are likely to have a long-term mental health condition compared to straight people.

The report also states they are more likely to drink and smoke heavily.

Rights group say the findings "confirm well-established health inequalities for LGB people.”

Around 2 per cent of all adults surveyed in the 2011 – 2018 Health Survey for England identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Out of the LGB respondents about 16 per cent said they suffered with a long-term mental or behavioural disorder in comparison to 6 per cent who identified themselves as straight.

LGB women suffered more with their mental health compared to men.

One-third of LGB adults said they drank at least 14 units of alcohol a week which "put them at increased or higher risk of alcohol-related harm", compared to 25 per cent of straight people, especially among ethnic minority communities.

The percentage of respondents who drink no alcohol was roughly the same regardless of their sexuality in white people.

LGB people said they were more likely to smoke. This was particularly evident in LGB women, where the statistics were one in three compared to one in six straight women.

However only 50 per cent of LGB people were less likely to be overweight compared to almost two-thirds of straight adults.

This data confirms well-established health inequalities for LGB people, such as much higher rates of mental ill-health, as well as highlighting less well-known health inequalities impacting our communities," said Eloise Stonborough, associate director of policy and research Stonewall.

"Understanding the specific health disparities for lesbian, gay and bi people is a crucial step in being able to address them and ensure that the NHS is providing a healthcare service which supports us all. To continue capturing this data, it's important that all health services monitor and report on health outcomes for all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people."

The data was conducted by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) for NHS Digital, based on a representative sample of over-16s who took part in the Health Survey for England between 2011 and 2018.

Participants weren't asked about trans status or gender identity, but this is being considered for future surveys.