A new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research revealed lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in California wait to seek medical care. It also showed higher rates of unhealthy behaviors among bisexuals.
The report takes data from 2011 to 2014 to assess healthcare amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual, and straight adults in the state.
Overall, the authors of the report found LGB adults have ‘similar or better rates of insurance coverage compared to straight women and men’, but they are more likely to delay seeking medical attention.
Previous reports support this finding, and it often comes down to discrimination.
Susan Babey, a co-author of the new report, confirmed this: ‘Sexual minorities who have had a bad experience with a medical provider because of their sexual orientation may try to avoid repeating it.’
How bisexual people fare worse
One of the key findings of the reports shows that bisexual adults have the worst access to a regular doctor. They also have high rates of unhealthy behaviors.
Overall, bisexual people the least likely to have a regular source of care. They are also the most likely to delay care and/or seek care in an emergency room.
Bisexual women reported higher rates of smoking, binge drinking, and consuming fast food two or more times a week.
50% of straight women reported being in good health and 22% reported binge drinking within the previous year. In comparison, 45% of bisexual women said they were in good health and 50% reported binge drinking. Further, 10% of straight women said they were smokers, compared to 23% of bisexual women.
Previous reports have indicated unhealthy behaviors in the LGBTI community can partially be traced to stress, anxiety, and discrimination.