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Measuring the Influence of Legally Recognized Partnerships on the Health and Well-Being of Same-Sex Couples: Utility of the California Health Interview Survey (LGBT Health)

February 16, 2017

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: William N. Elwood, Veronica L. Irvin, Nancy Breen, et al

​The study explored the utility of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to compare health-related outcomes among gay men, lesbians, and heterosexuals who reported being in a legally recognized partnership. Authors regressed sexual identity and marriage/legally recognized partnership status on seven different outcomes related to health insurance coverage, medical services access and use, and general health and well-being using California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data collected between 2009 and 2013 for 1,432 respondents who identified as gay, lesbian or homosexual and 67,746 who identified as heterosexual. The percentage of participants who reported being married/legally partnered was 54.06 percent for heterosexual women, 52.93 percent for heterosexual men, 38.83 percent for lesbians, and 23.56 percent for gay men.
The study found that legally partnered/married gay and lesbian respondents were more likely to have health insurance and use health care than their counterparts not in such partnerships; few trends were statistically significant. Gay men in legally recognized partnerships were more likely than heterosexual counterparts to report continuous health insurance coverage, a usual medical care source, and at least one provider visit within the past 12 months. The authors found statistically significant poorer health status outcomes among lesbians in legally recognized partnerships compared to married heterosexual women.

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