HealthDay News — Lesbian and bisexual (LB) women are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes at a younger age than heterosexual women, with the difference mediated by body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online May 2 in Diabetes Care.
Heather L. Corliss, MPH, PhD, from San Diego State University, and colleagues prospectively followed women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II ages 24 to 44 years in 1989 through 2013. Of the participants, 1,267 identified as lesbian or bisexual and 92,938 were heterosexual. The incidence of type 2 diabetes was assessed based on self-reported clinician diagnosis.
The researchers found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was increased for LB women vs heterosexual women (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.54). The differences in the risk of type 2 diabetes were greater during younger ages (sexual orientation-by-age interaction, P<.001). The correlation between sexual orientation and type 2 diabetes was mediated by BMI; the incidence rate ratio was attenuated when BMI was added to the model (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.70 to 1.03).
“Findings indicate that LB women develop type 2 diabetes at younger ages than heterosexual women. Higher BMI in LB women is an important contributor to this disparity,” the authors write. “Public health and clinical efforts to prevent, detect, and manage obesity and type 2 diabetes among LB women are warranted.”