Disparities in long-term cardiovascular disease risk by sexual identity: The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine long-term cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk disparities by sexual identity using a nationally representative sample of young adults in the United States. Methods: Data include participants in wave 4 (2008/09; ages 24-34. years) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (7087 females; 6340 males). Sexual identity was self-reported (heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly homosexual, homosexual) and a Framingham-based prediction model was used to estimate participants' risk of a CVD event over 30. years. Differences in CVD risk by sexual identity, relative to heterosexuals, were calculated with linear regression models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, and financial distress. Results: Average 30-year CVD risk was 17.2% (95% CI: 16.7, 17.7) in males and 9.0% (95% CI: 8.6, 9.3) in females. Compared to heterosexual females, mostly heterosexual (0.8%; 95% CI: 0.2, 1.4) and mostly homosexual females (2.8%; 95% CI: 0.8, 4.9) had higher CVD risk. Bisexual and homosexual females had higher but not statistically significant CVD risk compared to heterosexuals. Among males, differences in CVD risk by sexual identity were not statistically significant. Conclusion: Sexual identity was associated with CVD risk in sexual minority subgroups. Population- and clinic-based prevention strategies are needed to minimize disparities in subsequent disease.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Clark CJ; Borowsky IW; Salisbury J; Usher J; Spencer RA; Przedworski JM; Renner LM; Fisher C; Everson-Rose SA
  • Start Page

  • 26
  • End Page

  • 30
  • Volume

  • 76