Breaking News
September 26, 2018 - New insights into what drives organ transplant rejection
September 26, 2018 - Tiny Device Is a ‘Huge Advance’ for Treatment of Severe Heart Failure
September 26, 2018 - Research shows possibility to postpone cumbersome treatment for low-risk MDS patients
September 26, 2018 - CSU chemists may help in making extracorporeal life support devices more effective
September 26, 2018 - Blood-brain barrier can be important biomarker for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
September 26, 2018 - PCORI, AHRQ announce awards to support patient-centered outcomes research in learning health systems
September 26, 2018 - Scientists discover and characterize human skeletal stem cells
September 26, 2018 - Repeat CT Common in Peds Traumatic Epidural Hematoma
September 26, 2018 - Genetics Home Reference: bunion
September 26, 2018 - Increase observed in hearts from drug-intoxicated donors
September 26, 2018 - For Heart Failure Patients, Mitral Valve Procedure Improved Outcomes
September 26, 2018 - TINY cancer detection device shows promise as point-of-care detector of KSHV
September 26, 2018 - Women with non-small cell lung cancers live longer than their male counterparts
September 26, 2018 - KTU researchers engineer experimental bone to help treat osteoarthritis patients
September 26, 2018 - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World calls for proposals to implement Smoke-Free Index
September 26, 2018 - Functional Imagery Training helps lose five times more weight than talking therapy
September 26, 2018 - Fewer American Teens Having Sex, Most Using Birth Control
September 26, 2018 - We are predisposed to forgive, new research suggests
September 26, 2018 - Insomnia Exacts Heavy Toll on Quality of Life
September 26, 2018 - Clinical study shows efficacy, safety of novel drug-eluting stent with improved radiographic visibility
September 26, 2018 - Cytox, AIBL announce expanded agreement to assess genetic risk for Alzheimer’s
September 26, 2018 - Study finds persistent rate of lawnmower injury-related emergency department visits
September 26, 2018 - Researchers find molecule that halts, reverts neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson’s disease
September 26, 2018 - Novartis announces winners of 2018 eXcellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award
September 26, 2018 - New spinout company to tackle drug-resistant infections with novel antibiotics
September 26, 2018 - In depression the brain region for stress control is larger
September 26, 2018 - Smuggling RNA into cells can activate the immune system to fight cancer
September 26, 2018 - Special Focus Issue takes wide view of complementary and integrative medicine in cancer
September 26, 2018 - Researchers now confirm that genome duplication drives evolution of species
September 25, 2018 - Study provides evidence of beta lactamase producing, antimicrobial resistant E. coli in U.S. retail meat
September 25, 2018 - UCI study finds new cause of cerebral microbleeds
September 25, 2018 - Researchers propose mechanism by which ASTN2 protein defects lead to brain disorders
September 25, 2018 - Chinese and German researchers to cooperate more closely in future for better food
September 25, 2018 - Recent study helps predict probability of pregnant mothers to have child with autism
September 25, 2018 - New online, sound matching tool offers tinnitus sufferers potential treatment options
September 25, 2018 - UC Davis researchers take critical step in developing more effective Salmonella vaccine
September 25, 2018 - Antibiotics best paediatric treatment for children’s chronic wet cough
September 25, 2018 - Looking beyond opioids: Stanford pain psychologist briefs Congress
September 25, 2018 - Organs actively fighting back against autoimmune diseases, finds study
September 25, 2018 - Lancaster professor aims to understand how genes affect smoking cessation
September 25, 2018 - Human-oriented perspective needed to better understand Parkinson’s disease
September 25, 2018 - Physical activity may have beneficial effects for people with rare Alzheimer’s disease
September 25, 2018 - FDA Updates on Valsartan Recalls
September 25, 2018 - 3-D-printed tracheal splints used in groundbreaking pediatric surgery
September 25, 2018 - Who is the designated driver, or proxy, for your health decisions?
September 25, 2018 - New chemo-optogenetic method enables multi-directional activity control of cellular processes
September 25, 2018 - Study explores link between genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s and cardiometabolic risk factors
September 25, 2018 - NeoTract presents new clinical data from studies of UroLift System for patients with BPH
September 25, 2018 - Patients with paralysis manage to walk thanks to new technology
September 25, 2018 - Statins Improve Long-Term Survival After AAA Repair
September 25, 2018 - Novel brain network linked to chronic pain in Parkinson’s disease
September 25, 2018 - Researchers reassess negative pressure wound therapy as its benefit and harm remain unclear
September 25, 2018 - Older adults with ‘fall plan of care’ less likely to suffer fall-related hospitalizations
September 25, 2018 - FDA lifts partial clinical hold that paused enrollment of new patients in tazemetosta clinical trials
September 25, 2018 - IME Medical Electrospinning establishes state-of-the-art manufacturing lab facilities
September 25, 2018 - Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of entrectinib drug in ROS1-positive NSCLC show promising results
September 25, 2018 - How to Protect Your Eyesight
September 25, 2018 - Novel approach allows researchers to define how cells in the retina respond to diabetes
September 25, 2018 - Columbia University announces winners of 2018 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
September 25, 2018 - New model enables anyone to run powerful simulations, complex calculations easily
September 25, 2018 - Clinical trial investigators found non-compliant with requirement to report results on EU register
September 25, 2018 - Study analyzes quality of protein supplements in function of source, treatment and storage
September 25, 2018 - FDA grants Orphan Drug Designation to Myelo001 for treatment of Acute Radiation Syndrome
September 25, 2018 - U.S. Alzheimer’s Cases to Nearly Triple by 2060
September 25, 2018 - Improving cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease
September 25, 2018 - Genervon reports new findings that drug candidate GM6 attenuates Alzheimer’s disease in mice model
September 25, 2018 - FDA approves new 5 mm diameter drug-eluting stent from Cook Medical
September 25, 2018 - New $17.8 million grant ensures USC at forefront of research on tobacco-related health risks
September 25, 2018 - Researchers analyze response to combination immunotherapy for patients with rare skin cancer
September 25, 2018 - Study sheds light on how brain protein may be involved neurodevelopmental disorders
September 25, 2018 - Where to draw the line on incentives
September 25, 2018 - Solid fuel use linked with increased risk of hospitalization or death from respiratory diseases
September 25, 2018 - ‘Trouble Brewing’ report highlights steps that governments can take to reduce alcohol-related harms
September 25, 2018 - Recurrence risk of VTE appears similar for patients with cancer and those with unprovoked VTE
September 25, 2018 - Global leaders must make bold commitments at first-ever UN tuberculosis summit
September 25, 2018 - Brief sleep intervention works long-term to prevent child obesity
September 25, 2018 - Vaping among kids and teens a growing concern
September 25, 2018 - Public launch of products and application solutions from Porvair Laboratory Division
September 25, 2018 - Harmful H. pylori may play a role in Parkinson’s disease
September 25, 2018 - Researchers develop way to measure different types of fear of falling in patients with Parkinson’s
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