Prevalence of Social Determinants of Health Among Sexual Minority Women and Men in 2017

Janelle M. Downing, Ellena Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Inequities in social determinants of health are plausible contributors to worse health of sexual minorities relative to heterosexuals. Sexual minorities may have higher rates of housing, food, and financial insecurity as adults owing to adverse childhood experiences or policies that induce social disadvantage. This study compares the prevalence of 3 types of social determinants of health among sexual minority and heterosexual adults. Methods: Data were from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2017 survey of U.S. states that administered the optional Social Determinants of Health module and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity modules. In August 2019, authors estimated the odds of food, housing, and financial insecurity among sexual minority men and women, compared with heterosexuals. Results: Sexual minority women and men had higher odds of housing insecurity, housing instability, and food insecurity, but no differences were observed for perceived neighborhood safety. Sexual minority women had higher odds of financial insecurity than their heterosexual peers. Conclusions: Sexual minorities have more housing and food insecurity than heterosexuals, which may contribute to their risk for poorer health. Future research should address the causes and consequences of these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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