Article Text

Sexual orientation identity in relation to smoking history and alcohol use at age 18/19: cross-sectional associations from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE)
  1. Gareth Hagger-Johnson1,2,3,
  2. Rafik Taibjee3,4,
  3. Joanna Semlyen5,
  4. Isla Fitchie6,
  5. Julie Fish7,
  6. Catherine Meads8,
  7. Justin Varney3,9
  1. 1MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  3. 3Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists (GLADD), London, UK
  4. 4Merton Medical Practice, London, UK
  5. 5Department of Psychology, London Metropolitan University, London, UK
  6. 6Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  7. 7Department of Social Work, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  8. 8Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, London, UK
  9. 9NHS Barking & Dagenham/London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson; g.hagger-johnson{at}ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives Information about the health behaviours of minority groups is essential for addressing health inequalities. We evaluated the association among lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) sexual orientation identity and smoking and alcohol use in young people in England.

Design Data drawn from wave 6 of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE).

Setting Self-completion questionnaires during home visits, face-to-face interviews and web-based questionnaires.

Participants Data from 7698 participants (3762 men) with information on sexual orientation identity and health behaviours at age 18/19.

Outcome measures Cigarette smoking history, alcohol drinking frequency and risky single occasion drinking (RSOD).

Results LGB identity was reported by 3.1% of participants (55 gay, 33 lesbian, 35 bisexual male, 111 bisexual female), 3.5% when adjusting for the survey design. Adjusting for a range of covariates, identification as lesbian/gay was found to be associated with smoking (OR=2.23, 95% CI 1.42 to 3.51), alcohol drinking >2 days/week (OR=1.99, 95% CI 1.25 to 3.17) and RSOD (OR=1.80, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.86) more than weekly. Bisexual identity was associated with smoking history (OR=1.84, 95% CI 1.30 to 2.61) but not alcohol drinking >2 days/week (OR=1.20, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.81) or RSOD (OR=1.04, 95% CI 0.71 to 2.86).

Conclusions In a sample of more than 7600 young people aged 18/19 years in England, lesbian/gay identity is associated with cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol frequency and RSOD. Bisexual identity is associated with smoking but not RSOD or frequent alcohol drinking.

  • cigarette smoking
  • alcohol drinking
  • alcoholic intoxication
  • cohort studies
  • sexuality
  • social epidemiology

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.