Burden of Chronic Health Conditions Increased for LGTBQ+ Cancer Survivors

Highest prevalence of all outcomes seen among transgender or gender-nonconforming survivors
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, June 20, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer survivors who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) have an increased burden of all chronic health conditions, disabilities, and limitations, according to a study published online June 20 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Austin R. Waters, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues used pooled, weighted Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 23 states that completed two specific modules from 2020 to 2022 to examine the risk for chronic health conditions and physical and cognitive limitations in LGBTQ+, LGB, transgender or gender-nonconforming (TGNC), and non-LGBTQ+ cancer survivors. Overall, 1,715 of the 40,990 cancer survivors were LGBTQ+.

The researchers found that the age-adjusted prevalence of all outcomes was significantly higher for LGBTQ+ survivors. TGNC survivors had the highest prevalence of all outcomes apart from depressive disorders and cognitive limitations. Higher odds of reporting asthma, depressive disorders, kidney disease, stroke, diabetes, vision disability, cognitive limitations, difficulty walking, dressing, and running errands was seen for LGBTQ+ survivors. TGNC cancer survivors had increased odds of the most outcomes in multivariable models run to compare TGNC survivors with non-TGNC survivors.

"Our findings reinforce the need for multilevel interventional approaches, from structural changes to patient-level to mitigate health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ cancer survivors," the authors write.

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