Breaking News
December 16, 2018 - ‘Easy Way Out’? Stigma May Keep Many From Weight Loss Surgery
December 16, 2018 - Gout drug may protect against chronic kidney disease
December 16, 2018 - Talking about memories enhances the wellbeing of older and younger people
December 16, 2018 - Occupational exposure to pesticides increases risk for cardiovascular disease among Latinos
December 16, 2018 - A biomarker in the brain’s circulation system may be Alzheimer’s earliest warning
December 16, 2018 - Magnesium may play important role in optimizing vitamin D levels, study shows
December 16, 2018 - The effect of probiotics on intestinal flora of premature babies
December 16, 2018 - Parents spend more time talking with kids about mechanics of using mobile devices
December 16, 2018 - Biohaven Announces Positive Results from Ongoing Rimegepant Long-Term Safety Study
December 16, 2018 - Arterial stiffness may predict dementia risk
December 16, 2018 - Study explores link between work stress and increased cancer risk
December 16, 2018 - Sex work criminalization linked to incidences of violence finds study
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers discover swarming behavior in fish-dwelling parasite
December 16, 2018 - Schistosomiasis prevention and treatment could help control HIV
December 16, 2018 - Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers identify molecular causes of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
December 16, 2018 - Advanced illumination expands capabilities of light-sheet microscopy
December 16, 2018 - Alzheimer’s could possibly be spread via contaminated neurosurgery
December 16, 2018 - Unraveling the complexity of cancer biology can prompt new avenues for drug development
December 16, 2018 - Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Prostate Cancer Linked
December 16, 2018 - Cannabis youth prevention strategy should target mental wellbeing
December 15, 2018 - Recent developments and challenges in hMAT inhibitors
December 15, 2018 - Sewage bacteria found lurking in Hudson River sediments
December 15, 2018 - CDC selects UMass Amherst biostatistician model that helps predict influenza outbreaks
December 15, 2018 - Researchers reveal brain mechanism that drives itch-evoked scratching behavior
December 15, 2018 - New computer model helps predict course of the disease in prostate cancer patients
December 15, 2018 - Obesity to Blame for Almost 1 in 25 Cancers Worldwide
December 15, 2018 - How the brain tells you to scratch that itch
December 15, 2018 - New findings could help develop new immunotherapies against cancer
December 15, 2018 - World’s largest AI-powered medical research network launched by OWKIN
December 15, 2018 - Young people suffering chronic pain battle isolation and stigma as they struggle to forge their identities
December 15, 2018 - Lifespan extension at low temperatures depends on individual’s genes, study shows
December 15, 2018 - New ingestible capsule can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology
December 15, 2018 - Researchers uncover microRNAs involved in the control of social behavior
December 15, 2018 - Research offers hope for patients with serious bone marrow cancer
December 15, 2018 - Link between poverty and obesity is only about 30 years old, study shows
December 15, 2018 - Mass spectrometry throws light on old case of intentional heavy metal poisoning
December 15, 2018 - BeyondSpring Announces Phase 3 Study 105 of its Lead Asset Plinabulin for Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia Meets Primary Endpoint at Interim Analysis
December 15, 2018 - Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all
December 15, 2018 - Tenacity and flexibility help maintain psychological well-being, mobility in older people
December 15, 2018 - Study reveals role of brain mechanism in memory recall
December 15, 2018 - High levels of oxygen encourage the brain to remain in deep, restorative sleep
December 15, 2018 - Experimental HIV vaccine strategy works in non-human primates, research shows
December 15, 2018 - Genetically modified pigs could limit replication of classical swine fever virus, study shows
December 15, 2018 - FDA Approves Herzuma (trastuzumab-pkrb), a Biosimilar to Herceptin
December 15, 2018 - Cost and weight-loss potential matter most to bariatric surgery patients
December 15, 2018 - Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca open new Functional Genomics Centre
December 15, 2018 - New research lays out potential path for treatment of Huntington’s disease
December 15, 2018 - Prestigious R&D 100 Award presented to Leica Microsystems
December 15, 2018 - Study shows septin proteins detect and kill gut pathogen, Shigella
December 15, 2018 - Study sheds new light on disease-spreading mosquitoes
December 15, 2018 - 2017 Saw Slowing in National Health Care Spending
December 15, 2018 - Monitoring movement reflects efficacy of mandibular splint
December 15, 2018 - Study supports BMI as useful tool for assessing obesity and health
December 15, 2018 - Self-guided, internet-based therapy platforms effectively reduce depression
December 15, 2018 - Organically farmed food has bigger climate impact than conventional food production
December 15, 2018 - Faster, cheaper test has potential to enhance prostate cancer evaluation
December 15, 2018 - Researchers study abnormal blood glucose levels of patients after hospital discharge
December 15, 2018 - Swedish scientists explore direct association of dementia and ischemic stroke deaths
December 15, 2018 - Study finds 117% increase in number of dementia sufferers in 26 years
December 15, 2018 - Eczema Can Drive People to Thoughts of Suicide: Study
December 15, 2018 - Link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia confirmed
December 15, 2018 - Nurse denied life insurance because she carries naloxone
December 15, 2018 - Ritalin drug affects organization of pathways that build brain networks used in attention, learning
December 15, 2018 - Research pinpoints two proteins involved in creation of stem cells
December 15, 2018 - Gut bacteria may modify effectiveness of anti-diabetes drugs
December 15, 2018 - A new type of ‘painless’ adhesive for biomedical applications
December 15, 2018 - Early physical therapy associated with reduction in opioid use
December 15, 2018 - Breast cancer protection from pregnancy begins many decades later, study finds
December 15, 2018 - How often pregnant women follow food avoidance strategy to prevent allergy in offspring?
December 15, 2018 - Using machine learning to predict risk of developing life-threatening infections
December 15, 2018 - How imaginary friends could boost children’s development
December 15, 2018 - Folate deficiency creates more damaging chromosomal abnormalities than previously known
December 15, 2018 - Study provides new insights into molecular mechanisms underlying role of amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease
December 15, 2018 - For the asking, a check is in the mail to help pay for costly drugs
December 15, 2018 - UA scientists uncover biological processes leading to rare brain disorder in babies
December 15, 2018 - The largest database on industrial poisons
December 15, 2018 - ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress showcases novel technologies set to benefit many cancer patients
December 15, 2018 - Ovid Therapeutics Announces Plans to Move into a Phase 3 Trial in Pediatric Patients Based on End-of-Phase 2 Meeting for OV101 in Angelman Syndrome
December 15, 2018 - Left ventricular noncompaction – Genetics Home Reference
LGBQ adolescents at much greater risk of suicide than heterosexual counterparts

LGBQ adolescents at much greater risk of suicide than heterosexual counterparts

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Adolescents who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning are much more likely to consider, plan or attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Specifically, of a nationally representative sample of 15,624 high-school age participants, 40 percent of sexual-minority adolescents seriously considered suicide compared to 15 percent of their heterosexual counterparts. Nearly a quarter attempted suicide compared to approximately 6 percent of those in the sexual majority.

“The most staggering finding, the one that really makes you think, is just how prevalent these suicide-risk behaviors are in the LGBQ adolescent community,” said Theodore L. Caputi, who conducted this work while at Penn’s Wharton School and who is now a pursuing a master’s degree at University College Cork in Ireland. “Research has shown that suicide-risk behaviors are an indicator of extreme distress.”

Caputi’s research focuses mostly on substance-use disorders like the opioid epidemic and teenage drug use. During a fellowship in Wharton’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, while investigating the intersection of minority groups, substance use and mental-health disorders, he noticed a gap in the literature.

“The more I researched the connection between suicide risk and teens who identify as sexual minorities, the more interesting it became,” he said. “In particular, these results were so striking it was clear this work could have some real-world impact informing policy.”

He teamed up with Davey Smith, a professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and John Ayers, an adjunct associate professor in the San Diego State Graduate School of Public Health. From there, the trio began digging deep into data from the National Youth Behavioral Risk Survey administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This survey, which began in 1990 and was most recently given in 2015, asks high-school students about their conduct in a range of areas, from smoking to exercise. It gets specific about topics like gun-carrying and electronic bullying, alcohol use and suicide. For this research, that last category proved thought-provoking, particularly questions related to suicidal thoughts and actions.

To analyze the data, Caputi and colleagues used a new methodology focused on risk ratios rather than odds ratios. The researchers showed the probability of a link between sexual-minority groups and suicide risk and then drew a comparison to the relevant heterosexual groups. They also concentrated on adolescents, a subset rarely before explored in this context.

The team noticed several important trends: Though female sexual-minority adolescents, on the whole, show a higher absolute prevalence for suicide-risk behaviors, when the researchers incorporated in statistics from heterosexual counterparts, sexual-minority males were at greater relative risk. For behaviors such as trying to take their own lives, LGBQ males were almost five times as likely to report having done so than heterosexual males in the same age group.

Another trend stuck out, one related to adolescents who identify as bisexual. Nearly one-third of this group reported attempting suicide in the past 12 months, and 46 percent had considered it. Previous research has revealed that bisexual adolescents in particular experience great distress because some people are dismissive of this sexual orientation.

“There are clearly differences in how sexual-minority adolescents experience the world,” Caputi said. “External stressors like stigma and isolation are significant contributing factors, and those weigh on members of these high-risk communities.”

Though the researchers acknowledge some limitations with the study, for example, a lack of data about transgender people and just a 60-percent response rate to the survey, they hope their results call attention to the severity of this problem and prompt action on the part of policymakers, community members, educators and clinicians.

“If people are thinking about suicide and their attempts are not successful, that does not mean we’ve won,” Caputi said. “The goal is to decrease the stressors that cause LGBQ adolescents to contemplate suicide in the first place. We’re hoping our study will inspire social and policy changes that lead to happier and healthier lives for LGBQ adolescents.”


Explore further:
Same-sex marriage legalization linked to reduction in suicide attempts among teens

More information:
Journal of the American Medical Association (2017). jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/ … 1001/jama.2017.16908

Journal reference:
Journal of the American Medical Association

Provided by:
University of Pennsylvania

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles