-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- The death rate among
Danish men in same-sex partnerships has dropped significantly since
the 1990s, but the death rate among women in same-sex unions is
increasing, a new study finds.
In 1989, Denmark became the first country to allow registered
same-sex partnerships. For several years afterward, the death rate
among same-sex partners was markedly high, the researchers
However, the death rate among men in same-sex partnerships has
declined since 1996 and is now below that of unmarried or divorced
men. The development of effective treatment for HIV/AIDS is a major
reason for the decrease, according to the study, published online
March 12 in the
International Journal of Epidemiology.
In contrast, the researchers found that the death rate for women
in same-sex partnerships has increased, mostly because of suicide
"Lesbians may constitute a largely unnoticed high-risk population for suicide and breast cancer, so our findings call for efforts to identify the underlying factors responsible and ensure access to basic health care in this population," study lead author Morten Frisch said in a journal news release.
It has long been known that married people have a reduced rate
of death, but significant changes in marriage have occurred in
Western nations over the past decades, the researchers noted.
For example, there have been gradual declines in the percentage
of people in traditional marriages; increases in the percentages of
unmarried and divorced people; a growing number of single people;
and fewer people living with a member of the opposite sex.
As in previous research, this study found that being married or
living with a member of the opposite sex was associated with lower
death rates. From a public health standpoint, it is important to
try to identify the reasons why people in these relationships have
reduced death rates, Frisch said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
gay, bisexual and transgender health.
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