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Sexual Minority Population Density and Incidence of Lung, Colorectal and Female Breast Cancer in California (British Medical Journal)

March 26, 2014

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: Ulrike Boehmer, et al

Risk factors for breast, colorectal, and lung cancer are known to be more common among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals, suggesting they may be more likely to develop these cancers. In this study, the authors determine differences in cancer incidence by sexual orientation, using sexual orientation data aggregated at the county level.

Data on cancer incidence were obtained from the California Cancer Registry and data on sexual orientation were obtained from the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 California Interview Surveys, from which a measure of age-specific LGB population density by county was calculated.

Among men, bisexual population density was associated with lower incidence of lung cancer and with higher incidence of colorectal cancer. Among women, lesbian population density was associated with lower incidence of lung and colorectal cancer and with higher incidence of breast cancer; bisexual population density was associated with higher incidence of lung and colorectal cancer and with lower incidence of breast cancer.

These study findings clearly document links between county-level LGB population density and cancer incidence, illuminating an important public health disparity.

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