CVD Risk Factors and Sexual Identity in Women
To examine potential differences in the prevalence and pattern of risk factors for coronary heart disease in a sample of 500 self-identified lesbians and 500 heterosexual women, matched for age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity.
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
|Official Title:||CVD Risk Factors and Sexual Identity in Women|
- risk of cardiovascular disease [ Time Frame: single visit ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Framingham risk profile
Biospecimen Retention: Samples Without DNA
|Study Start Date:||March 2003|
|Study Completion Date:||February 2008|
|Primary Completion Date:||February 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality among women living in the United States, regardless of race and ethnicity and is likely the leading cause of mortality among lesbians. However, in various reports since 1994, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have pointed out that health care and health research affecting lesbian women are inadequate. As women, lesbians share many of the same health concerns of all women. However, as emphasized in the IOM Report on Lesbian Health "factors assumed to place women at risk for or to protect them against health disorders may not be present at the same levels or operate in the same way for lesbians". The IOM report also recognizes that "women who self-identify as lesbian may also experience stressors not commonly faced by heterosexual women" and that "it is important to understand the factors that are unique to lesbians and their impact on lesbians' health". Data which do exist from household surveys and studies utilizing convenience samples indicate that women who identify as lesbian may differ from heterosexual women in several important factors which contribute to the development of CHD. However, to date there has not been a comprehensive examination of CHD risk in a large sample of women who identify as lesbian or an examination of how their pattern of risk factors or overall risk for CHD may differ from a sample of demographically similar heterosexual women.
The study is a case-control, cross-sectional survey that includes both behavior (alcohol, smoking, substance use, physical activity) and physiological (lipids, blood pressure, adiposity) measures. Self-identified lesbian women will be age, education, and racially matched to heterosexual women. The study will test the hypotheses that the prevalence and pattern of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors are different between lesbians and heterosexual women. The study will also determine the absolute and relative risk estimates for CHD based on the Framingham multiple-risk-factor assessment equations, and test the hypothesis that lesbians are at increased risk of CHD compared to heterosexual women.
|Principal Investigator:||nina markovivc, phd||University of Pittsburgh|