Frisch originated and designed the study and drafted the article. We studied overall mortality in a demographically defined, complete cohort of gay men Median vs average statistics of homosexuals lesbians to address recent claims of markedly shorter life spans among homosexual persons.
We calculated standardized mortality ratios SMRs starting 1 year after the date of same-sex marriage for men and women in Denmark who married a same-sex partner between and For women, and for men marrying afterthe significant excess mortality was limited to the period 1 to 3 years after the marriage.
Despite recent marked reduction in mortality among gay men, Danish men and women in same-sex marriages still have mortality rates that exceed those of the general population. The excess mortality is restricted to the first few years after a marriage, presumably reflecting preexisting illness at the time of marriage.
Although further study is needed, the claims of drastically increased overall mortality in gay men and lesbians appear unjustified. Likewise, despite recent calls for increased attention to the health needs of sexual minority groups, 45 no population-based study has provided data on the overall mortality among lesbians.
One major practical reason that mortality has not been studied in these groups, whose basic human rights remain controversial in many countries, is the difficulty identifying large and unbiased groups of gay men and lesbians. Further Median vs average statistics of homosexuals the need for a thorough investigation, a recent Internet-based publication used flawed methodology to arrive at the conclusion
Median vs average statistics of homosexuals life expectancies for gay men and lesbians are, on average, shorter than those of heterosexual men and women by more than 20 years.
Our goal was Median vs average statistics of homosexuals provide a population-based estimate of the overall mortality in a well-defined, complete cohort of gay and lesbian persons without obvious health-related characteristics that would lead to biased mortality estimates. We utilized Median vs average statistics of homosexuals opportunities for conducting nationwide epidemiologic studies in Denmark to identify a cohort of more than persons whose only eligibility criterion was that they had formalized their partnership in same-sex marriage.
Inthe Danish parliament was the first in the world to pass a law allowing registered homosexual partnerships, i. Because of insufficient follow-up data, we excluded 31 persons who had emigrated from Denmark at the time of their marriage.
Furthermore, persons with less than 1 year of follow-up were excluded because we disregarded the first year after marriage from all mortality calculations to reduce the influence of deaths from severe diseases that were present at the time of marriage and that may have contributed to the decision to marry.
Thus, the study cohort consisted of persons men, women who were followed after 1 year of their first same-sex marriage until death, emigration, or end of follow-up July 15, We used measures of relative and excess mortality to compare overall mortality rates among persons in same-sex marriages with those of the general Danish population.
The standardized mortality ratio SMRdefined as the ratio of observed to expected numbers of deaths, is a frequently used summary measure of relative mortality. The excess death rate EDRdefined as the observed minus the expected number of deaths per person-years of observation, is useful when comparing groups with different baseline mortality rates.
Expected numbers of deaths in the cohort denominators of the SMRs were estimated by adding the gender- age- and time period—specific contributions 1-year age and 5-year time period—specific stratifications of person-years of observation multiplied by corresponding gender- age- and time period—specific death rates in the general population.
During 60 person-years of observation starting 1 year after a same-sex marriage, deaths in men, in women occurred in the cohort, yielding crude mortality rates of These mortality rates were significantly higher than corresponding rates in the general Danish population for men: In terms of excess deaths, persons in same-sex marriages experienced 5. However, because of lower background mortality rates in the younger category, SMRs were markedly different 5.
Among women, differences between those who were 35 years or younger and those who were older than 35 years at their first same-sex marriage were smaller, with SMRs of 2. Corresponding EDRs declined dramatically from 9. To the best of our knowledge this is the first population-based assessment of mortality in a demographically defined, complete group of gay and lesbian persons. Among women, the increased mortality was limited to the first 1 to 3 years of Median vs average statistics of homosexuals, which is likely explained by deaths caused by severe diseases that were already present at the time of their marriage.
Mortality in industrialized countries like Denmark is largely determined by
Median vs average statistics of homosexuals from cardiovascular diseases and cancers. We are aware of no studies on the burden of cardiovascular diseases among gay and lesbian persons, but a previous study reported no evidence to suggest major differences in cancer morbidity between same-sex married persons and the general Danish population.
The significant excess mortality in the first 1 to 3 years of same-sex marriage among women and men who married their partner after the introduction of HAART is likely, at least in part, to reflect preexisting severe illness.
Some same-sex couples may have decided to marry to ensure that the surviving partner would have housing, inheritance, pension, and other financial advantages that would not otherwise be available to them. Official estimates of the proportion of Danes who are gay or lesbian do not exist, so we cannot know how representative persons in same-sex marriages are of all gay and lesbian persons in Denmark.
Although our findings are likely to apply to other same-sex—partnered persons who live in steady relationships without formal registration, 11 it is more questionable to what extent our findings will also apply to unmarried gay or lesbian persons with continuously shifting partners, those who have both male and female partners, and those self-identified gay men and lesbians who do not have a partner at all.
Lifestyles may differ considerably between subgroups, and it is likely that some subgroups have lower mortality rates than do others, depending on individual risk-taking behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, and casual sexual relations. Because Median vs average statistics of homosexuals marriage is a rather new institution, there is no empirical evidence available to suggest major systematic differences in known determinants of mortality between same-sex married persons and other gay or lesbian persons.
The situation is likely to be different in Denmark, which is more liberal on individual sexual rights than some other countries. It is plausible that men and women in same-sex marriages may have systematically fewer exposures to known health hazards than do other gay men and lesbians, a situation parallel to that of married versus unmarried heterosexuals.
The available literature contained no population-based data on mortality among gay and lesbian persons free of sexually transmitted infections. We had therefore anticipated that, at the group level, gay men might have somewhat higher mortality than do heterosexual men, because of the impact of AIDS deaths, notably before the introduction of HAART in Additionally, suicides and accidents—which according to some studies may be more common among gay men and lesbians than among heterosexuals 14 — 16 —lifestyles that include higher levels Median vs average statistics of homosexuals tobacco and alcohol consumption 17 — 21 and, among women, overweight 172122 would further contribute to the expected higher mortality among gay men and lesbians.
Our findings are compatible with these expectations, but additional study is required to identify the underlying specific causes of death contributing to the observed excess mortality overall. Conventional statistical analysis of Danish data provides a much less dramatic picture than the one drawn by the Family Research Institute.
Nevertheless, our observations deserve careful consideration and constructive concern. We have documented the existence of moderately increased mortality among same-sex married Danish gay men and lesbians during the first few years of their marriages, even in recent years when AIDS deaths have declined markedly among gay men. However, our mortality rates may still be too high in the first 1 to 3 years because of chronic diseases with slow progression to death.
"Median vs average statistics of homosexuals" findings are compatible with such an extended period during which preexisting illnesses may have inflated the mortality rates. Reassuringly, there was no significant excess mortality 4 or more years after same-sex marriage for women or men who married during the HAART Median vs average statistics of homosexuals. As the cohort grows and matures, we hope to get a clearer picture of mortality differences between persons in same-sex marriages and other persons in Denmark.
To our knowledge, we have presented the first population-based assessment of mortality in a demographically defined, complete group of gay and lesbian persons. Since the introduction of HAART inthis pattern has changed dramatically, but overall mortality remains elevated in the first few years after entry into same-sex marriage. Although preexisting illness provides a plausible explanation for the excess mortality in the first years of same-sex marriage, additional follow-up of the cohort is required to provide estimates of long-term mortality, and studies of underlying cause—specific mortality are clearly warranted to identify the causes of death that prevail among gay and lesbian persons.
Finally, studies in other settings are warranted to judge how generalizable our findings are to other groups of gay men and lesbians and to those in other countries. It may very well be that differentials in mortality between homosexual and heterosexual persons are more pronounced in other countries in which gay and lesbian persons are subject to stigmatization, indirect or overt discrimination, or even criminal prosecution.
This register-based study was approved Median vs average statistics of homosexuals the Danish Data Protection Board approval no.
National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Am J Public Health. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Accepted April 16, This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
RESULTS Overall Mortality, — During 60 person-years of observation starting 1 year after a same-sex marriage, deaths in men, in women occurred in the cohort, yielding crude mortality rates of Open in a separate window. Constructive Concern Required Conventional statistical analysis of Danish data provides a much less dramatic picture than the one drawn by the Family Research Institute.
Future Directions To our knowledge, we have presented the first population-based assessment of mortality in a demographically defined, complete group of gay and lesbian persons. Modelling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men.
Int J Epidemiol ; Patterns of the hazard of death after AIDS through the evolution of antiretroviral therapy: Trends in causes of death among persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, San Francisco, — J Infect Dis ; Hughes C, Evans A. Health needs of women who have sex with women. Improving health care for the lesbian and gay communities. N Engl J Med ; Cameron P, Cameron K.
Federal distortion of homosexual footprint ignoring early gay death?
Accessed April 14, The Danish Civil Registration System: Dan Med Bull ; Cowan SA, Smith E. Ugeskr Laeger ; Cancer in a population-based cohort of men and women in registered homosexual partnerships. Am J Epidemiol ; Three-year follow-up of same-sex couples who had civil unions in Vermont, same-sex couples not in civil unions, and heterosexual married couples. Dev Psychol ; Cleaning up their act: Marital life course events and smoking behaviour in Sweden — Soc Sci Med ; Sexual orientation and risk of suicide attempts among a representative sample of youth.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med ; The relationship between suicide risk and sexual orientation: Am J Public Health ; J Womens Health ; Gruskin EP, Gordon N. BMC Public Health ; 6: Drinking patterns "Median vs average statistics of homosexuals" homosexual and heterosexual women. J Clin Psychiatry ; Smoking among lesbians, gays, and bisexuals: Am J Prev Med ; Sexual orientation and health: Previous estimates from obituaries and pre sex surveys suggested that the median age of death for homosexuals is Median vs average statistics of homosexuals than 50 yr.
Homosexuality, Male/ statistics & numerical data*; Humans; Longevity*; Male; Middle Aged; Substance. But are those people – gay or straight – who go online looking for love and sex really truth: that your average gay person's sex life is every bit as dreary and And here is where these online statistics get even more interesting.
. a lot of partners does not mean there's something wrong with them per se.