Addressing Psychosocial Stressors to Improve CV Health of LGBTQ Adults

American College of Cardiology

January 20, 2021

Significant psychosocial stressors experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) adults compromise their cardiovascular health throughout their life span, according to a statement from the American Heart Association published Oct. 8 in Circulation.

Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, et al., sought to develop a conceptual model that highlights potential mechanisms underlying cardiovascular care disparities in LGBTQ adults, identify research gaps, and provide suggestions for how to improve cardiovascular care and research of LGBTQ patients.

The statement examines the minority stressors (intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural) and general life stressors that LGBTQ adults face because of their sexual orientation and gender identity and how understanding these stressors is essential to develop and tailor cardiovascular interventions for LGBTQ adults.

The statement also summarizes existing research on the cardiovascular health of LGBTQ adults by examining data on the population's tobacco use, physical activity, diet, body mass index, blood pressure, glycemic status, total cholesterol and lipids, additional risk factors and cardiovascular disease.

"[Future] research should use qualitative and mixed methods to identify and develop culturally appropriate interventions for [cardiovascular disease] risk reduction in LGBTQ adults," write the authors. They add that "LGBTQ health content should be incorporated into health professions curricula, and LGBTQ-related accreditation and licensure requirements are needed."


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