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CT Advocates: LGBT Health Often Suffers

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March 29, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals suffer poorer health outcomes than the general population, in part because they are at least twice as likely to not have health insurance. During the eighth annual LGBT Health Awareness Week, starting today and sponsored by the National Coalition for LGBT Health, members of that community are urged to look after six aspects of their own health.

These include: mental health; sexual health; substance use, including tobacco and alcohol; heart health; fitness, including diet and exercise; and domestic violence and safety, explains Dan Millett, who is with client services of the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective

"Domestic abuse is usually a man abusing a woman in a heterosexual relationship but, unfortunately, in a same-gender relationship, there is abuse within these relationships also."

Millett says the specific concerns in his community are often not a priority of health professionals, so LGBT people need to take the initiative.

"Wouldn't now be a good time to see your physician about getting a check-up or talking to someone about your fitness, or heart disease?"

He says research shows that smoking, HIV, and obesity occur in greater numbers in the LGBT community than in the population at large.

More information is available on the Hartford group's Web site, www.hglhc.org

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT