RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A first-of-its-kind health report is providing new insight into the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Riverside County.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Health and Wellness Profile reports on a segment of the population that some say has been traditionally underserved by health surveyors.
Among the findings in the 108-page report (PDF):
- Gay and lesbian teens smoke at a rate twice that of their heterosexual peers;
- Bisexual women report intimate partner violence at a rate nearly three times that of their heterosexual female peers; and
- Nearly a quarter of lesbians and bisexual women report having an asthma diagnosis, a rate that is nearly double that of the general female population.
In addition to higher rates of alcoholic consumption, tobacco use and high-risk sexual behavior in the LGBT community, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said the study also found a disproportionate number of suicide attempts.
“For those who may have come out when it was more dangerous to do so, they retain memories of what they went through during that time,” Kaiser said.
The report – which Riverside County Department of Public Health officials say is a collaborative effort by a variety of agencies and organizations and took months to complete – will be used to allocate funding and education about the LGBT population.
About 4 percent of Riverside County residents identify as LGBT, according to officials.