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Sexual Orientation And Relationship Status Could Affect Perceived Health

Sexual Orientation And Relationship Status Could Affect Perceived Health
2/28/2013 12:15 PM ET

Gay couples who live together are more likely to report their health as poor or fair than married straight couples, says a new report from researchers at Michigan State University. For the study, researchers examined health records collected as part of the National Health Interview Surveys from 1997 to 2009.

A total of 686,846 adults between the ages of 18 and 65 replied to surveys detailing their relationship status and their perceived physical condition. They found that gay cohabitating men were 61 percent more likely to classify their health as poor or fair than straight married counterparts. Forty-six percent of gay, cohabitating women said the same.

Cohabitating same-sex couples did, however, report better perceived health than straight cohabiting couples, or divorced, widowed or never-married individuals. Thus far researchers could not pinpoint the cause of the discrepancy but said discrimination and other stresses associated with gay lifestyles could be the culprit.

"Access to legal marriage may provide same-sex cohabitors health benefits similar to those found in different-sex married persons, reducing health disparity," the authors wrote.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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