Disparities in health behaviors and outcomes at the intersection of race and sexual identity among women: Results from the 2011–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Julia D. López, Alexis Duncan, Enbal Shacham, Virginia McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore potential differences in health behaviors and outcomes of sexual minority women (SMW) of color compared to White SMW, heterosexual women of color, and White heterosexual women. Data from 4878 women were extracted from the 2011 to 2016 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. The four-category independent variable (SMW of color, White SMW, heterosexual women of color, and White heterosexual women) was included in binary and multinomial logistic regression models predicting fair/poor self-reported health status, depression, cigarette smoking, alcohol, cannabis, and illicit drug use. Compared to White heterosexual women, SMW of color and heterosexual women of color had significantly higher odds of fair/poor self-reported health and lower odds of being a current or former smoker, binge drinking or using alcohol in the past year, being a former cannabis user, and ever using illicit drugs. In contrast, White SMW had significantly greater odds of depression, current smoking and cannabis and illicit drug use. Results of post-hoc tests indicated that the adjusted ORs for SMW of color differed significantly from those of White SMW for all outcomes, and did not differ significantly from those for heterosexual women of color for any outcome other than no binge drinking (OR = 0.34 vs. 0.67, p < 0.01) and current cannabis use (OR = 0.93 vs. 0.44, p < 0.01). SMW of color are more similar to heterosexual women of color than to White SMW in terms of depression, substance use, and self-reported health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106379
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume142
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

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