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Quick Uptakes
May 27, 1998

Teen Health Risks

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JAMA. 1998;279(20):1599. doi:10.1001/jama.279.20.1599-JQU80002-6-1

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents are more likely to be exposed to multiple health risks than their heterosexual counterparts.

A study in the May issue of Pediatrics has analyzed data on students in grades 9 through 12 who participated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Of 4100 students surveyed, 104 said they were gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

According to the analysis, gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens were more than 3 times as likely to have attempted suicide in the past year and nearly 5 times as likely to have been absent from school because they feared for their safety. Teens who used illicit drugs and engaged in sex before the age of 13 years were more likely to be homosexual or bisexual.

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