Differences in Health-Related Quality of Life and Health Behaviors Among Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Women Surviving Cancer from the 2013 to 2018 National Health Interview Survey

LGBT Health. 2020 Dec 16. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2020.0185. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and health behaviors contribute to cancer morbidity and mortality, which are elevated in lesbian and bisexual women (LBW). The purpose of this study was to assess differences in HRQoL and health behaviors between heterosexual and lesbian women and heterosexual and bisexual women cancer survivors. Methods: We pooled 2013-2018 National Health Interview Survey data. HRQoL comprised physical, mental, financial, and social health domains. Health behaviors included tobacco and alcohol use, physical activity, and preventive health care. Weighted, multivariable logistic regression models estimated odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: The sample included 10,830 heterosexual, 141 lesbian, and 95 bisexual cancer survivors. Lesbian women reported higher odds of fair/poor self-rated health (OR: 1.68, 95% CI 1.02-2.78), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR: 1.98, 95% CI 1.09-3.56), and heart conditions (OR: 1.90, 95% CI 1.16-3.12) than heterosexual women. Bisexual women reported higher odds of severe psychological distress (OR: 3.03, 95% CI 1.36-6.76), heart conditions (OR: 1.98, 95% CI 1.12-3.53), and food insecurity (OR: 2.89, 95% CI 1.29-6.50) than heterosexual women. For health behaviors, lesbian women reported greater odds of current (OR: 2.34, 95% CI 1.26-4.34) and former tobacco use (OR: 1.89, 95% CI 1.21-2.96), and bisexual women had lower odds of a recent mammogram (OR: 0.42, 95% CI 0.23-0.78) than heterosexual women. Conclusions: LBW cancer survivors reported disparities in HRQoL and health behaviors. In cancer care settings, identification of LBW patients requiring physical and mental health promotion, financial services, and supported tobacco cessation may improve health and survival.

PMID:33325783 | DOI:10.1089/lgbt.2020.0185