Sexual Identity and Allostatic Load
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Adams, John P., Allostatic Load and Sexual Identity. Master of Public Health (Epidemiology), May 2008, 86pp., 4 tables, 1 figure, bibliography, 32 titles. It is proposed that health disparities manifest in non-heterosexuals via stress experienced due to discrimination. To test this, allostatic load (conceptualized as stress-induced cumulative biological dysregulation) was compared when heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals by utilizing biomarker data from the 2001-2004 iterations of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Propensity score matching was implemented to increase group comparability and the association was reevaluated. Before and after propensity score matching there was no statistically significant association between sexual identity and having an allostatic load score (odds ratio=1.202 95% confidence interval (0.663, 2.181) and 1.299 (0.638, 2.646), respectively); however, differences were found in HDL cholesterol and glycohemoglobin profiles. Allostatic load may be an inappropriate measure for non-heterosexuals as more sensitive biomarkers may be needed.