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09-04-2019 | Uitgave 6/2019

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 6/2019

Cardiovascular disease risk factors are elevated among a cohort of young sexual and gender minorities in Chicago

Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 6/2019
Ethan Morgan, Richard D’Aquila, Mercedes R. Carnethon, Brian Mustanski
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10865-019-00038-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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To date, little research has examined cardiovascular (CVD) risk among young sexual and gender minorities, a population which behavioral research has suggested may be at unique risk of poor CVD outcomes. We assessed behavioral risk factors and biomarkers of CVD risk among young sexual and gender minorities (YSGM) aged 16–29 in Chicago who are participants in the RADAR cohort (analytic N = 936). Multiplex cytokine and inflammatory biomarker assays were run on plasma from all HIV+ participants and demographically-matched HIV- participants (n = 237). Geographic data were used to assess mean C-reactive protein (CRP) level per community area of residence in Chicago. YSGM in this cohort exhibited lower rates of obesity (19.2% in RADAR vs. 35.7% in earlier studies of heterosexual youth) and comparable rates of past 30-day tobacco use (37.9 vs. 38.1%). Conversely, higher rates were observed among several other risk factors including C-reactive protein (mean = 6.9 mg/L vs. 2.1 mg/L), marijuana use (72.5 vs. 45.3%), perceived stress (mean = 15.5 vs. 14.2), and HIV (20.0 vs. < 1% nationally). Finally, we observed geographic heterogeneity in mean CRP values by community area across the Chicago region with the highest and lowest values both found in neighborhoods on the North side of the city. In sum, these analyses demonstrate that YSGM may be at increased risk of CVD beginning from an early age. Future research should assess whether sexual minority-related stressors increase long-term CVD risk and should also longitudinally study the role of multiple risk factors on CVD morbidity and mortality among YSGM.

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