HealthDay News — Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are overall more likely to report suicide-related thoughts, plans, and attempts within the past 12 months compared with heterosexual adults, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Rajeev Ramchand, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the 2015 to 2019 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (pooled number, 191,954) to examine differences between lesbian, gay, and bisexual and heterosexual adults regarding past-year suicide thoughts, plans, and attempts.

The researchers found that suicide thoughts, plans, and attempts were more common among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in almost every age and race/ethnicity category compared with corresponding heterosexual adults. There were significant decreases for each outcome across age groups among women of all sexual identity groups and heterosexual men. However, among gay and bisexual men, this age effect was less pronounced. Compared with White women, Black women had significantly lower rates of suicidal thoughts and plans in all sexual identity groups.

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“In light of consistently elevated rates of suicide thoughts and behaviors, lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults may expressly benefit from enhanced prevention, identification, and treatment of suicide risk,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text