To the Editor In a Viewpoint published in JAMA Neurology, Rosendale and Josephson1 highlighted the importance of developing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)–specific research in neurology. It is true that disparities involving LGBT people are understudied in medicine; however, the most important thing to understand is why these disparities exist and point out how discrimination against LGBT people triggers health concerns.2 For example, rates of stroke risk factors, such as smoking, are significantly higher in LGBT people than in the general population. It could be induced by stigmatization of LGBT people by society. The shame some LGBT people feel can lead to many disorders such as stress and anxiety, which can also lead to smoking. Unfortunately, physicians have seen the price that their patients have paid for society’s lack of acceptance, but also the medical community’s lack of acceptance. Therefore, the removal of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was the result of sociopolitical forces and not a reflection of scientific advancement.
Colin O. Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People. JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(10):1209. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.2128
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