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Study finds homophobes die younger

A US study published this month in the American Journal of Public Health has found that anti-gay prejudice is bad for straight people’s health
A homophobic protester in Israel in 2005
Photo by Benj

Homophobes die 2.5 years younger than non-prejudiced heterosexuals according to a new study that suggests anti-gay prejudice is not only bad for the health of LGBTI people but also the people who hate them.

The study, by researchers at the University of Columbia and the University of Nebraska, was published in the American Journal of Public Health earlier this month and found higher mortality rates among homophobes regardless of their social economic status and other health factors.

‘Heterosexuals who reported higher levels of anti-gay prejudice had higher mortality risk than those who reported lower levels,’ the researchers found.

‘This result translates into a life expectancy difference of approximately 2.5 years … between individuals with high versus low levels of anti-gay prejudice. Furthermore, in sensitivity analyses, anti-gay prejudice was specifically associated with increased risk of cardiovascular-related causes of death.’

‘The[se] findings contribute to a growing body of research suggesting that reducing prejudice may improve the health of both minority and majority populations,’ the researchers concluded.

Many studies have shown that homophobic prejudice affects the health of LGBTI people but this is believed to be the first study to suggest it also affects the haters as well as the hated.

The paper, 'Anti-Gay Prejudice and All-Cause Mortality Among Heterosexuals in the United States,’ was accepted by the journal in September of last year but has only been published now.

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