Abstract 17343: Exploring Sexual Orientation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women Exploring Sexual Orientation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women
Background: Sexual minority women (SMW) are twice as likely to smoke, twice as likely to be overweight or obese, and 46-76% less likely to be physically active than women with heterosexual orientation; all of which place SMW at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of sexual orientation on vascular age and the 10-year likelihood of developing a heart attack in a sample of women.
Method: The Framingham multiple-risk-factor assessment uses a calculation of age, smoking, BMI, and blood pressure to predict vascular age and the risk of experiencing CVD event in the next 10 years. The current study will use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), an ongoing nationally representative study of health-related behaviors, and psychophysiological outcomes in young adulthood. The labels heterosexual woman (HSW), mostly heterosexual woman (MHW) and SMW were created based on participant responses.
Results: Using data from 5,060 participants, we identified 2,527 to include this study (HSW=2,022, MHW=400, SMW=105), the mean differences in vascular age compared to actual age for HSW, MHW, and SMW were (7.19, 8.36, and 9.11) and the Framingham CVD risk scores were (1.04, 1.59, and 1.78), respectively. There was a significant effect of sexual orientation on the differences between vascular age and actual age [F(2, 2524)=8.16 p<.004] and on Framingham CVD Risk Scores, F(2, 2524)=5.55 p=.004], indicating that both MHW and SMW have significantly higher vascular ages and are at an increased risk of a 10 year cardiac event when compared to HSW.
Conclusion: The evidence for increased CVD risk by sexual orientation is compelling. The findings indicate that SMW and MHW have larger differences in their vascular and actual age and are at an increased risk of experiencing a cardiac event. Population-based longitudinal studies and surveillance data are essential to minimizing disparities in risk factors and subsequent disease in this population.
Author Disclosures: L.A. Harper: None. K. An: None. L. Zyzniewski: None. F. Belgrave: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.