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Bisexual relationship can break your heart, literally

Gorkha Post

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WASHINGTON — Turns out, for men, being bisexual can be injurious to health.

According to a study conducted by the New York University, bisexual men have a higher risk for heart disease compared with heterosexual men across several modifiable risk factors.

“Our findings highlight the impact of sexual orientation, specifically sexual identity, on the cardiovascular health of men and suggest clinicians and public health practitioners should develop tailored screening and prevention to reduce heart disease risk in bisexual men,” said lead author Billy Caceres.

Little is known about the impact of sexual orientation on heart disease risk in men, despite the fact that gay and bisexual men may be at a higher risk based on modifiable factors like tobacco use and poor mental health.

In this study, the researchers examined differences in modifiable risk factors for heart disease and heart disease diagnoses in men of different sexual orientations.

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Risk factors measured included mental distress; health behaviors such as tobacco use, binge drinking, diet, and exercise; and biological risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Participants who reported having angina, coronary heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, or stroke were considered as having a diagnosis of heart disease.

The researchers analysed responses from 7,731 men ages 20 to 59. Differences were analysed across four groups based on their sexual identities: gay men, bisexual men, heterosexual men who have sex with men, and heterosexual men.

The researchers found no differences in heart disease diagnoses based on sexual orientation, but the risk for heart disease was more complicated. Gay men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual men who have sex with men had similar heart disease risk.

Gay men reported lower binge drinking compared with heterosexual men, but otherwise few differences in health behaviors were noted.

Bisexual men, however, had higher rates of several risk factors for heart disease relative to heterosexual men: mental distress, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and three different measures of diabetes (medication use, medical history, and average glycosylated hemoglobin level).

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“Poor mental health is a recognized risk factor for the development of heart disease,” said Caceres. “Clinicians should be educated about sexual minority health and should routinely screen bisexual men for mental distress as a risk factor for heart disease.

This is particularly important as healthcare organizations increasingly include sexual orientation as part of demographic questionnaires in electronic health records.”

The researchers also noted that the study underscores the importance of disaggregating analyses for gay and bisexual participants to ascertain differences in health outcomes between these subgroups.

The study findings appear in the journal LGBT Health.

ANI

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Sexual violence haunts women for years : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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Women who are sexually assaulted experience more vivid memories than women coping with the aftermath of other traumatic, life-altering events not associated with sexual violence, a new Rutgers-New Brunswick study has found.

Compared with other traumatic life-altering events, the memories of sexual assault remain intense and vivid for years, even when not linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the study authors said.

The study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, has found that women who had suffered from sexual violence, even those who were not diagnosed with PTSD, had more intense memories — even decades after the violence occurred — that are difficult, if not impossible to forget.

For the study, the researchers studied almost 200 women, aged 18 to 39, including 64 women who were victims of sexual violence. Fewer than 10 percent were taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs.

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“To some extent, it is not surprising that these memories relate to more feelings of depression and anxiety, because these women remember what happened and think about it a lot,” said co-author Tracey Shors, a psychology professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

“But these feelings and thoughts are usually associated with PTSD. And most women in our study who experienced these vivid memories did not suffer from PTSD, which is generally associated with more intense mental and physical reactions,” Shors said in a university news release.

The women who suffered sexual violence had clear, strong memories, including details of the event. Moreover, they had a hard time forgetting the incident and viewed it as a defining part of their life, the researchers found.

“Each time you reflect on an old memory, you make a new one in your brain because it is retrieved in the present space and time,” Shors said. “What this study shows is that this process can make it even more difficult to forget what happened.”

Other research has found that sexual aggression and violence are likely causes of PTSD in women. PTSD can be physically and mentally debilitating and difficult to overcome, the researchers noted.

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According to Emma Millon, who is a graduate student and co-author of the report, “Women in our study who ruminated more frequently also reported more trauma-related symptoms. One could imagine how rumination could exacerbate trauma symptoms and make recovery from the trauma more difficult.”

The World Health Organization reports that 30 percent of women around the world experience physical or sexual assault in their lifetime, with teens most likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape or assault.

Studies have also found that as many as one in five college students experiences sexual violence during their school years.

Agencies

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