29 April 2020 Written submission to: Inquiry: Unequal impact: Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact on people with protected characteristics LGBT+

UK evidence

  • No accurate measure of the size of the LGBT population is available. Public Health England modelled estimate is 2.5%.
  • Majority UK LGBT health research – lower quality ‘convenience samples’ and snowball sampling.

There are several papers that outline risk factors already experienced by UK LGBT+ implicated in COVID-19 risk. There are UK population papers on obesity, and two on smoking and alcohol and two on mental health. There is also a summary available on older age LGBT+ populations.

Mental health

King M, Semlyen J, See Tai S, Killaspy H, Osborn D, Popelyuk D and Nazareth I (2008) A systematic review of mental disorder, suicide, and deliberate self harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual people. BMC Psychiatry 2008, 18(8):70 DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-8-70 

Semlyen J, Hagger-Johnson G, Varney J and King M (2016) Sexual orientation and symptoms of common mental disorder or low wellbeing: combined meta-analysis of 12 UK population health surveys. BMC Psychiatry 16(1), 1 DOI 10.1186/s12888-016-0767-z

Smoking and alcohol

Hagger-Johnson G, Taibjee R, Semlyen J, Fitchie I, Fish J, Meads C and Varney J (2013) Sexual orientation identity in relation to cigarette smoking and hazardous alcohol use at age 18/19: Cross-sectional associations from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE). BMJ Open; 3(8). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002810

Shabab, L, Brown, J, Hagger-Johnson, G, Michie, S, Semlyen, J, West, R, Meads, C (2017) Sexual orientation identity and tobacco and hazardous alcohol use: findings from a cross-sectional English population survey. BMJ Open 7(10), e015058.

Obesity and underweight

Semlyen J, Curtis, T and Varney, J (2019) Sexual orientation identity in relation to unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI): Individual Participant Meta-Analysis of 93,429 individuals from 12 UK health surveys, Journal of Public Health, fdy224

Older age LGBT

Westwood, S, Willis, Paul, Fish, J, Hafford-Letchfield, T, Semlyen, J, King, A, Beach, B, Almack, K, Kneale, D, Toze, M, and Becares, L (2020) Older LGBT+ Health Inequalities in the United Kingdom: Setting a Research Agenda Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

Existing reports

There are a number of existing reports offering good sumamries of the issues included here for reference.

  1. OutRight report
  2. Then there is the LBTI Caucus Statement
  3. Two statements by the LGBT Consortium – one on organisations and one on service delivery
  4. And a statement by BAGIS https://www.bagis.co.uk/covid-19-response
  5. Ambition for ageing statement on LGBTQ older people health inequalities
  6. LGBT Foundation statement
There is also a ruling that gay men be excluded from donating blood for a trial looking for a Covid-19 treatment see Metro newspaper

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