International Differences in Alcohol Use According to Sexual Orientation

K. Bloomfield, M. Wicki, S. Wilsnack, T. Hughes, G. Gmel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Most research on sexual orientation and alcohol use in the United States has found higher rates of alcohol use and abuse among gay men and lesbians. Studies from other countries have found smaller or no differences between sexual minority and heterosexual women and men. The present study used general population survey data from 14 countries to examine high-volume and risky single-occasion drinking by sexual orientation. Data from 248 gay men and lesbians and 3720 heterosexuals were analyzed in a case-control design. In several countries partnered or recently partnered gay men and lesbians had no greater risk of heavy drinking or engaging in heavy drinking than heterosexual controls. Only lesbians in North America showed higher risk for both indicators. Future general population health research should include larger samples of gays and lesbians and use more comprehensive measures of sexual orientation for investigating the prevalence of health risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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