Thursday April 25, 2019

LGBQ Teens at Higher Risk of Diabetes Than Heterosexual Youth, Finds Study

Teachers, parents and physicians should work together to ensure these youth have the tools they need to stay healthy

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The study found that on average, sexual minority and questioning students were less likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual students. Pixabay

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, be obese and engage in less physical activity and more sedentary activities than heterosexual youth, a Northwestern University Medicine study has found.

This is the largest study to date to report differences in levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and obesity by sex and sexual orientation among high-school-aged students, Xinhua reported.

The researchers used national data from 350,673 US high-school students, predominantly ranging between 14 and 18 years old, collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to detect disparities in diabetes risk factors by sexual orientation.

The study found that on average, sexual minority and questioning students were less likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual students. They reported approximately one less day per week of physical activity and were 38 to 53 per cent less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than heterosexual students.

The number of hours of sedentary activity among bisexual and questioning students was higher than heterosexual students, with an average of 30 minutes more per school day than heterosexual counterparts.

And lesbian, bisexual and questioning female students were 1.55 to 2.07 times more likely to be obese than heterosexual female students. Obesity and sedentary activity may be higher in this population because lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are subjected to minority stress.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Many of these youth might be taking part in sedentary activities like playing video games to escape the daily stress tied to being lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning,” said lead study author Lauren Beach, a postdoctoral research fellow at NU Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing.

“Our findings show that minority stress actually has a very broad-ranging and physical impact.”

Cultural and environmental factors may also be at play.

Also Read: Kids of mothers With Type-1 Diabetes at Risk of Being Overweight

Teachers, parents and physicians should work together to ensure these youth have the tools they need to stay healthy, Beach said.

Family support and identity affirmation: developing positive feelings and a strong attachment to a group, have been consistently linked to better health among LGBQ youth.

The study has been published in the journal Pediatric Diabetes. (IANS)

Next Story

Diabetes During Pregnancy Spikes up the Risk in Kids Later

For the study, the researchers included 73,180 mothers

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The study showed that a child or teenager whose mother had gestational diabetes -- diabetes during pregnancy -- was nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years. Pixabay

Children and youths whose mothers had diabetes during their pregnancy are themselves at an increased risk of the disorder, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

The study showed that a child or teenager whose mother had gestational diabetes — diabetes during pregnancy — was nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years.

The association was found in children from birth to the age of 22 years, from birth to 12 years, and from 12 to 22 years, said the study, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother’s children before age 22,” said Kaberi Dasgupta, clinician-scientist from the McGill University in Canada.

“This link of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in the mother has the potential to stimulate clinicians, parents, and children and youth themselves to consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue,” said Dasgupta.

Also Read- Facebook Explored Plans to Sell Users’ Data: Report

According to World Health Organzation, diabetes can be treated and its consequences can be avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

For the study, the researchers included 73,180 mothers. (IANS)