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A study published in the American Journal of Public Health just a few weeks ago and conducted by researchers working under the umbrella of The Fenway Institute’s Center for Population Research in LGBT Health showed that gay men were able to lead healthier, less stress-filled lives when states offer legal protections to same-sex couples. 

The study showed that in the 12 months following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, gay and bisexual men had a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health care visits, and mental health care costs, compared with the 12 months before the law changed.  This amounted to a 13-percent reduction in health care visits and a 14-percent reduction in health care costs. These health effects were similar for partnered and single gay men.  According to Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, PhD, lead author of the study, “These findings suggest that marriage equality may produce broad public health benefits by reducing the occurrence of stress-related health conditions in gay and bisexual men."

This link between equality for the LGBT community and the overall health and well-being of LGBT individuals is something that has long been suspected but that we are now able to demonstrate thanks to research like this being conducted right here at Fenway.  Research findings like this are vital tools that allow us to make a stronger case for the importance of equality in all areas of life for all members of our community. 

In this issue of Making Life Healthier, you will read about some of the other research we are doing to improve the health of the LGBT community, as well as our professional and community education programs and our advocacy work.   We hope you find this information useful and compelling.  One of our goals here at The Fenway Institute is to develop tools that the larger LGBT community can use to advocate for a healthier and more equal future.  If you want to know more about any of the work we are doing, please don’t hesitate to email us at information@fenwayhealth.org.

Sincerely,

Judith B. Bradford, PhD
Director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health, Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute

Kenneth H. Mayer, MD
Medical Research Director, Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute

Making Life Healthier
The quarterly newsletter of The Fenway Institute

January 2012

Table of Contents

Introduction

Research and Evaluation

Professional Education and Training

Prevention and Community Education

Center for Population Research in LGBT Health

Public Health Policy Advocacy

Featured Publications

Honors


Return to the front page of this newsletter.

 

 

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