EPeak Daily

Health disparities found in LGB Hawaiians


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HONOLULU — A new report from the Hawaii Department of Health, the first of its kind, among high school and adult LGB residents has found health disparities comparable to those reported in other studies including disproportionate rates of obesity, smoking, bullying, alcohol use, cancer, lack of exercise and strokes, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports.

A total of 4,700 high school students in Hawaii identify as LGB or questioning, according to the report. Native Hawaiian students make up 22 percent of LGB and questioning youth, the report says. Residents who are Native Hawaiian or part Native Hawaiian made up 21 percent of the overall state population in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center report.

LGB students are “significantly” less likely to visit a health care professional or see a dentist. Questioning students are even less likely than LGB students. Just 23 percent of LGB and 18 percent of questioning young male students report having been tested for HIV, the Tribune-Herald reports.

The report says only half of questioning youth saw a doctor or nurse for a physical exam in the past year, compared with almost 75 percent of straight youth.

One concerning finding, for all students, is that 33 percent of straight, 48 percent of questioning and 57 percent of LGB students report purposely hurting themselves within the past year.

LGB youth are almost four times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past year than straight youth; 43 percent of LGB youth have been bullied either at school or electronically, the article notes.

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