Gajan Sivakumaran, Rachel Margolis
Objectives: This article examines patterns of self-rated physical and mental health by sexual orientation among middle-aged and older adults in Canada, a rapidly growing subpopulation shown to be at risk of poor health.
Method: We use the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS 2015-2016) to estimate logit models predicting fair/poor self-rated physical and mental health by sexual orientation among middle-aged and older adults, stratifying by sex and age group.
Results: We find no differences in physical health for gay men and lesbian women compared with their heterosexual counterparts. However, middle-aged gay men are disadvantaged in terms of mental health, but not women. Bisexual women are disadvantaged in terms of physical health, and for mental health in some model specifications. Respondents who did not know their sexual orientation have poorer health across some measures of health and age groups.
Discussion: Our findings add to the paucity of research on older sexual minorities in Canada. They highlight the importance of separating out sexual minority groups because bisexual women have distinct health profiles. In addition, this is the first study to examine the health of respondents who “do not know” their sexual orientation, and future research should distinguish between different explanations for their poor health
Sivakumaran, G., & Margolis, R. (2020). Self-Rated Health by Sexual Orientation Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Canada. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, 75(8), 1747–1757. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbz067