Study Says “Coming Out” Has Health Benefits.

The New York Daily News (1/29, Miller) reported that according to a new study by Canadian researchers published in Psychosomatic Medicine, gays, lesbians and bisexuals who come out about their sexuality are “less anxious, depressed and burnt out than their closeted counterparts, or even than heterosexual people of similar age.” The study examined “87 men and women of varying sexual orientations, all of whom were around 25 years old,” and found that the out participants “had lower stress hormone levels and fewer symptoms of depression than those who weren’t public about their sexuality. Out gay and bisexual men also had lower stress and depressive symptoms than heterosexual men.” The study concluded that the constant stress of hiding one’s sexuality “can cause the hormone cortisol to spike, creating inflammation in the body – which in turn has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illness.”

NBC News (1/30, Alexander) in its “Vitals” blog reports the study’s finding “could help explain a remarkable study published last year by a group of researchers from Columbia University in the American Journal of Public Health. They found that after Massachusetts enacted its same-sex marriage law in 2003, there was a significant drop in medical and mental health care visits – and therefore costs – incurred by gay men.” The lead author of the study by McGill University and University of Montreal researchers, Robert-Paul Juster, said, “It seems to be that if you’re using more avoidance coping, and wishful thinking, then you get poorer health. If you aren’t dealing with the problem, it affects health in a negative way.”

Related Links:

— “Coming out is good for your health: Lesbians, gays, bisexuals less stressed than closeted and some hetero counterparts: study, “Tracy Miller, New York Daily News, January 29, 2013.

Posted in In The News.