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Prevalence of Mental Health Variables Higher for Adults Reporting Loneliness

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Highest prevalence of loneliness seen for those who identified as bisexual or transgender

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 20, 2024 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of mental health variables is higher among adults who report loneliness, with the highest prevalence of loneliness among bisexual and transgender adults, according to research published in the June 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Katherine V. Bruss, Psy.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues examined the associations of loneliness and lack of social and emotional support with mental health variables using data from the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 26 U.S. states.

The researchers found that the prevalence estimates for mental health variables were significantly higher among adults who did versus those who did not report loneliness and lack of social and emotional support. The highest prevalence of loneliness was seen among respondents who identified as bisexual (56.7 percent) and transgender (range, 56.4 to 63.9 percent). The highest prevalence of lack of social and emotional support was seen for those who identified as transgender female and transgender gender-nonconforming (44.8 and 41.4 percent, respectively) and those with household incomes below $25,000 (39.8 percent). The highest prevalence rates of stress, frequent mental distress, and history of depression were seen for bisexual (34.3 to 54.4 percent) and transgender adults (36.1 to 67.2 percent).

“Worsening mental health among sexual and gender minority populations suggests a need for mental health and primary care providers to address the unique psychosocial needs of these populations,” the authors write.

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