Health Disparities

Health disparities within LBGTQ* populations are linked to a long history of stigma, discrimination, and insufficient provider knowledge. At Stony Brook Medicine, we strive to address these disparities throughout the hospital by providing training to all staff members stressing the importance of comprehensive and inclusive care; improving documentation in the electronic medical record; and the creation of a multidisciplinary committee that focuses on ways to improve care for our patients. Our goal is to make healthcare services more welcoming for these historically marginalized groups of people, and to assure that all patients receive sensitive and appropriate preventative, medical and behavioral healthcare.

Specific health risks include:

  • LGBT youth are 2-3 times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • LGBT youth are more likely to be homeless.
  • Lesbian women are less likely to receive preventative cancer screenings.
  • Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STIs, especially Black and Latino gay men.
  • Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Transgender people have a high prevalence of HIV/STIs, violence victimization, mental health issues, and suicide, and are less likely to have health insurance than non-transgender people.
  • Older LGBT people face additional barriers to health because of isolation and lack of social services and culturally competent providers.
  • LGBT populations have disproportionately high prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use.