Elevated risk of substance use disorder and suicidal ideation among Black and Hispanic lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults.Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 09 01; 226:108848.DA
Black and Hispanic persons who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) experience health disparities relative to non-Hispanic White and heterosexual groups respectively, including higher rates of suicidal ideation (SI) and substance use disorder (SUD). To elucidate intersectional risk, we used a large national sample to examine rates of SI, SUD, and their co-occurrence (SI + SUD) at the intersection of sexual identity and race/ethnicity.
Data were from five years (2015-2019) of the National Survey of Drug Use and Heath (unweighted N = 189,127). Multinomial logistic regressions with persons without SI and SUD as references were stratified by gender and controlled for survey year, age, education, marital status, and income.
Compared to same-race and same-gender heterosexual adults, White, Black, and Hispanic LGB men and women showed higher odds of SI (AOR = 2.86-4.45), SUD (AOR = 1.23-3.01), and SI + SUD (AOR = 2.72-6.85). Compared to same-gender White heterosexual adults, Black and Latinx heterosexual men and women showed lower odds of SI (AORs = .54-.65), SUD (AORs = .52-.78) and SI + SUD (AORs = .41-.57). Compared to same-gender White LGB adults, Black and Hispanic women, but not men, showed lower SI odds (AORs = .58-.72). Compared to same-gender White heterosexual adults, Black and Hispanic LGB men and women showed higher odds of SI (AORs = 1.71-2.51) and SI + SUD (AORs = 1.91-2.97).
Consistent with research showing effects of multiple minority stress on behavioral health, adults with intersecting racial/ethnic and sexual minority identities showed increased odds of SI, SUD, and SI + SUD relative to Non-Hispanic White heterosexual peers. Black, Hispanic, and White LGB adults may benefit from screening and intervention for SI and SUD.