Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Health

Straight men more stressed, depressed than gay men, study says

A Canadian study on anxiety and sexual orientation suggests that heterosexual men suffer more depression and higher levels of stress than gay and bisexual men.

The study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, involved 87 men and women in Montreal and sought to determine whether gays, lesbians and bisexuals experienced reduced stress and anxiety after "coming out of the closet."

Study subjects were asked to fill out diagnostic questionnaires for depression, anxiety and burnout. They were also subjected to blood, urine and saliva tests to gauge their level of cortisol, a stress hormone, and examined for other health indicators.

Authors said they were not surprised to find that gay men who had disclosed their sexual orientation to friends and family showed fewer signs of depression than those who had yet to come out. However, they said they did not anticipate that the overall systemic stress, or allostatic load, measured in straight men would exceed all groups.

"Interestingly and contrary to our hypothesis, gay and bisexual men had significantly lower depressive symptoms and allostatic load levels than heterosexual men," wrote lead author Robert-Paul Juster, a neuroscientist at McGill University.

Heterosexual men registered a third higher on an index of allostatic load compared with gay and bisexual men. In contrast, lesbian and bisexual women ranked higher than heterosexual women on the index.

Noting that clinical indexes for stress include measures of body weight and fat, authors speculated that it was possible that gay and bisexual men focused more on maintaining thinness and muscularity than straight men.

They speculated also that gay and bisexual men may have developed better coping strategies than straight men.

"It has been proposed that certain kind of stigma-related stresses can produce adaptive behavioral responses that make individuals more resilient and effective at managing future stressors," authors wrote.

The study was among the first to examine stress levels among gays who were out and those who remained closeted. Study subjects were recruited through advertisements online, in posters and through word of mouth.

The average age of study participants was 25 years old. Transgender individuals were excluded because potential changes in sex hormones could have influenced their test results.

Study authors noted that their conclusions were limited by several factors.

The study sample was not only small, but it also included an unequal proportion of lesbians and bisexual men, relative to gay men and bisexual women.

Also, study authors said that Montreal's liberal reputation and Canada's progressive social policies might make the results unique to the region.

"It is possible that healthier and hardier lesbians, gays and bisexuals are more likely to partake in such studies than LBGs struggling with psychosocial, distress and difficulties self-identifying as sexual minorities," authors wrote.

Comments
FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials warned parents Wednesday about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient and asked manufacturers to stop selling their products intended for babies and toddlers. The Food and Drug...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A chronic lack of sleep could lead to decreased brain function, study finds

A chronic lack of sleep could lead to decreased brain function, study finds

A sleep study revealed that less than six hours of sleep a day can limit the brain’s ability to function properly.The study, published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that people experiencing less than...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Josephine Rizo survived chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, but breast cancer treatment wrecked her finances.Money was already tight when doctors told the Phoenix resident she had an aggressive form of the disease. Then she took a pay cut after goin...
Published: 05/22/18

Hernando County officials gather to remedy ‘dearth of services’ for youth with mental illness

BROOKSVILLE — Educators, court officials, law enforcement officers and health care professionals met Friday to identify the best ways to keep local youth with mental illnesses out of the court system and provide treatment for those already in the sys...
Published: 05/22/18
Give your arms a workout, too

Give your arms a workout, too

In addition to appearance, it is very important to maintain strength in those arms, as they are needed for practically every upper body movement we perform. We often take our 23 arm muscles for granted, until we reach a point where it suddenly become...
Published: 05/22/18
Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Going long hours without eating isn’t good for us, we are often told. Our bodies need fuel regularly. Otherwise, we may become lethargic, tired and hungry. Our thinking can become mushy, our ability to work, and even play, hampered.Not so fast.A new ...
Published: 05/22/18
U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. regulators Thursday approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines. The Food and Drug Administration’s action clears the monthly shot Aimovig (AIM’-oh-vig) for sale. It’s the first in a new class of long-acting dru...
Published: 05/18/18
Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day, and the American Medical Association is encouraging people to monitor their blood pressure levels and get high blood pressure, or hypertension, under control. High blood pressure, sometimes referred to as the...
Published: 05/17/18
Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. But what about men: Does their mental state affect a couple’s ability to conceive?The la...
Published: 05/17/18
Tampa General Hospital named among top 100 in U.S., second best in Florida

Tampa General Hospital named among top 100 in U.S., second best in Florida

TAMPA—Tampa General Hospital was named one of the top 100 hospitals in America for the fifth consecutive year, and second best in Florida, according to one health industry website.Tampa General is considered the best hospital in the Tampa area, accor...
Published: 05/16/18