Most people don’t consider sexual orientation risk factor for cardiovascular disease — but a recent study shows that bisexual women may have poorer cardiovascular health (CVH) than heterosexual women.
The researchers analyzed data from 12,180 people with an average age of 39.
About half of these people were women.
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The data was collected during the National Health and Nutrition Survey (2007-2016) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Each person was assigned a CHV score from 0 to 100 (100 being the best) based on their dietary habits and physical examinations.
The ratings were based on the American Heart Association criteria for ideal heart health in American adults.
A score below 50 indicated “poor” cardiovascular health, 50-79 was considered “moderate,” and 80 and above was “high,” according to the AHA website.
Pregnant women and people with a history of heart disease were excluded from the study.
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Bisexual women are about half as likely to have higher heart health scores than heterosexual women, largely due to “nicotine exposure and a higher body mass index.”
According to a Columbia Nursing School press release, the researchers also cited several other factors, including added stress, lack of sleep, and a higher risk of diabetes among bisexual women.
In addition, bisexual men have been found to be twice as likely as heterosexual men to have high blood pressure.
Dr. Billy Caceres, assistant professor at Columbia Nursing School, led the study, the results of which were published in the journal JAMA Cardiology.
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Other participating researchers were from Colombia; University California, San Francisco; and the Boston University School of Medicine, among others.
It was titled “Differences in Ideal Cardiovascular Health Between Sexual Minorities and Heterosexual Adults”.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the authors of the study for comment.
The authors of the study noted that more research is needed to determine other factors that may affect cardiovascular health in bisexual women.
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Dr. Dung Trin, chief medical officer of Irvine Clinical Research and physician at Memorial Care Medical Group in California, was not involved in the study. But he said he believes health care providers should consider the unique medical needs of people of different sexual orientations when providing care for heart disease.
Bisexual women are about half as likely to have better heart health scores as heterosexual women.
“When taking a patient’s history, cardiologists should ask open-ended questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to help identify any risk factors,” says Dr. Trin told Fox News Digital via email.
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Dr. Treen said the potential impact of “discrimination and stigma on the mental health and overall well-being of the patient” could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease among bisexual women.
“Physicians should examine state of mental healthsuch as depression and anxiety, which can affect cardiovascular health, especially among LGBTQ+ individuals who face higher rates of mental illness than the general population,” he added.
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Many lifestyle factors that affect cardiovascular health, such as smoking, drinking, dietary choices and exercise “Vary by cultural background or a person’s sexual orientation,” the doctor said. Trinh
“It is important to educate patients about how their sexual orientation can affect risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as well as stress prevention strategies such as healthy eating, regular exercise, stress management techniquesand, if necessary, compliance with the medication regimen,” he said.
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In addition, clinicians should provide appropriate referrals to community resources or support groups as needed. Trin recommends.