Breaking News
March 22, 2018 - Menopausal hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may benefit the brain
March 22, 2018 - Booze Boosts Your Heart Rate
March 22, 2018 - Skeptical Cardiologist: Classifying Heart Failure
March 22, 2018 - Instead of nagging your spouse to lose weight, try going on a diet yourself
March 22, 2018 - Study uncovers new genetic cause of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy
March 22, 2018 - ENDO: Big Breakfast May Help in Diabetics
March 22, 2018 - I’m not overweight, so why do I need to eat healthy foods?
March 22, 2018 - UCLA-led study suggests unexpected reason for reduction in cardiovascular health disparities
March 22, 2018 - Study suggests detailed neuropsychological assessment for brief cardiac arrest survivors
March 22, 2018 - Anticoagulant drugs found safe to use in patients undergoing surgery for irregular heartbeat
March 22, 2018 - SP Industries appoints Brian Larkin as new President and CEO
March 22, 2018 - GTx Announced New Data Demonstrating Enobosarm’s Potential to Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
March 22, 2018 - Higher Risk of Brain Deficits in Older Alcoholics
March 22, 2018 - Top US health official resigns in conflict of interest
March 22, 2018 - Study shows benefits of hair loss drug in improving cognitive function and vascular health
March 22, 2018 - Researchers explain link between 2 key Alzheimer’s proteins
March 22, 2018 - Patients on replacement therapy with thyroid hormone may have more comorbidities
March 22, 2018 - Higher online patient ratings linked to urologists who saw fewer Medicare patients
March 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Ilumya (tildrakizumab-asmn) for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis
March 22, 2018 - Beer Raises Heart Rate; KardiaBand Hyperkalemia Test; CHD Clinics
March 22, 2018 - A retinal implant that is more effective against blindness
March 22, 2018 - New system based on artificial intelligence provides reliable detection of breast cancer
March 22, 2018 - Research offers new understanding about cause of Parkinson’s disease
March 22, 2018 - HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP analyzer improves quality of care in emergency pediatric units, study shows
March 22, 2018 - Neuroscientists move closer to developing tools for deciphering brain function
March 22, 2018 - New test methods with less fear
March 22, 2018 - Range of Vaginal Dryness Products Can Help Postmenopausal Women: Study
March 22, 2018 - Higher Dose Tx Deemed Safe in Pulmonary TB
March 22, 2018 - Discovery of new ALS gene points to cytoskeleton as potential target for drug development
March 22, 2018 - Diet soda associated with higher odds of diabetic retinopathy
March 22, 2018 - LSD reduces ‘sense of self’
March 22, 2018 - Vitamin D deficiency linked to metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women
March 22, 2018 - Changes in the intestines may be responsible for reversal of diabetes after bariatric surgery
March 22, 2018 - iPads and Cancer; Clot Retrieval and Stroke: It’s PodMed Double T!
March 22, 2018 - Premature births linked to changes in mother’s bacteria
March 22, 2018 - Brain SPECT scans predict treatment outcomes in patients with depression
March 21, 2018 - Researchers succeed in integrating artificial organelles into cells of living organism
March 21, 2018 - Researchers discover ‘missing mutation’ in severe infant epilepsy
March 21, 2018 - Researchers develop statistics-based computational scheme to zoom in on brain function
March 21, 2018 - Verge joins Genomics England’s Discovery Forum industry partnership
March 21, 2018 - Trovagene Announces First Patient Successfully Completes Cycle 1 of Treatment with PCM-075 in Combination with Low Dose Cytarabine (LDAC) in AML Trial
March 21, 2018 - Congenital Cardiac Cath Tx Often Strays from Guidelines
March 21, 2018 - Marked increase in cardiovascular risk factors in women after preeclampsia
March 21, 2018 - New app may help predict, track manic and depressive episodes in bipolar patients
March 21, 2018 - Discovery of genes could lead to development of novel therapies for EBV-related cancers
March 21, 2018 - High-fat, high-cholesterol diet depletes ranks of artery-protecting immune cells
March 21, 2018 - Research misconduct allegations shadow likely CDC appointee
March 21, 2018 - Most Breast Ca Patients Fail to Get Genetic Counseling
March 21, 2018 - Lopsided ear function can lead to lopsided brain development
March 21, 2018 - Acupuncture helps manage menopausal symptoms, review finds
March 21, 2018 - Motor skill training may contribute to reading skills in obese children
March 21, 2018 - Poor dental health may be related to increased diabetes risk
March 21, 2018 - Chronic opioid users at increased risk of complications after spinal fusion surgery
March 21, 2018 - Study uncovers potential therapeutic target against large family of parasites
March 21, 2018 - NSAID use linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation
March 21, 2018 - Scientists develop brain “stethoscope” that can detect silent seizures
March 21, 2018 - New method predicts effects of global warming on disease
March 21, 2018 - Insurance Company Hurdles Burden Doctors, May Harm Patients
March 21, 2018 - Renal Transplant from HCV-Positive Donors Feasible
March 21, 2018 - Myelodysplastic syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
March 21, 2018 - Research reveals brain mechanism involved in language learning
March 21, 2018 - Many parents still hesitate to try early peanut introduction, survey finds
March 21, 2018 - Audiologist urges tinnitus sufferers facing ‘revolving door healthcare’ to seek support
March 21, 2018 - Study reveals impact of prostate cancer on wives and partners of sufferers
March 21, 2018 - ‘Almost a Miracle Drug’: What We Heard This Week
March 21, 2018 - Study shows NIH spent >$100 billion on basic science for new medicines
March 21, 2018 - Columbia researchers identify nerve cells that drive fruit fly’s escape behavior
March 21, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech selected by ABL Europe to supply single-use process technologies
March 21, 2018 - Increase in coffee consumption may help battle against colon cancer
March 21, 2018 - Hydrogel may accelerate healing of diabetic ulcers
March 21, 2018 - Dermira’s Two Phase 3 Trials Evaluating Olumacostat Glasaretil in Patients with Acne Vulgaris Did Not Meet Co-Primary Endpoints
March 21, 2018 - DePuy Synthes introduces ACTIS Total Hip System for improving initial implant stability
March 21, 2018 - ‘Oh, It Was Nothing’
March 21, 2018 - Herbal drug kratom linked to salmonella illnesses, CDC says
March 21, 2018 - New optical point-of-care device could enhance screening for thyroid nodules
March 21, 2018 - FDA Expands Approval of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for First-Line Treatment of Stage III or IV Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in Combination with Chemotherapy
March 21, 2018 - Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Late Manifestation of Allergic March
March 21, 2018 - Signaling pathway involving the Golgi apparatus identified in cells with Huntington’s disease
March 21, 2018 - Quintupling inhaled steroid doses may not benefit children with asthma
March 21, 2018 - Study shows clear connection between cardiovascular fitness in middle age and dementia risk
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). … 1001/jama.2017.16908

Journal reference:
Journal of the American Medical Association

Provided by:
University of Pennsylvania

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles