Same-sex sexuality and diabetes: A national longitudinal study of adolescent to young adulthood


Chen, I. Chien (2016). Same-sex sexuality and diabetes: A national longitudinal study of adolescent to young adulthood. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


The health disparities in sexual minority population continue to be a public policy concern (IOM 2010). Growing evidence has suggested that sexual minorities experience disadvantaged health outcomes in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts (Liu et al. 2013). Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this research examines the relationship between young adult sexual minorities, same-sex experiences in adolescence, and the developing risk of diabetes. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in the U.S., and the development of this disease is directly affected by social, biological and behavioral factors during adolescence and young adulthood. Working from a life course and minority stress perspective, we examine how the experiences of same-sex behavior and sexuality during adolescence to young adulthood is linked to the risk of developing diabetes. Linking the development of sexuality in adolescence with later biomarker data, this study aims to understand whether and under which conditions experiences of same-sex attraction, relationships and partners in adolescence impact later adult health. Relaying on logistic regression models, the results indicate that same-sex experiences in adolescence increase the risk of diabetes for self-reported 100% homosexual (gay) group after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and health-related behavior. Overall, the results suggest that the positive relationship between sexual minorities and the risk of diabetes, and the amplified impact of same-sex experiences in adolescence on diabetes is partially due to the kind of health behaviors that sexual minorities engage in as well as one's standard of living in age 26 to 34.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2016 Add Health Users Conference


Chen, I. Chien

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID