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Study: Gay, Bi Men Have Higher Skin Cancer Rates Than Straight Men
Gay and bisexual men have elevated rates of skin cancer compared to heterosexual men, according to an inclusive study from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The data was culled from 2014 to 2018, with respondents in 37 states. Researchers found that rates of self-reported skin cancer were 8.1 percent among gay men and 8.4 percent among bisexual men — higher than the rate of 6.7 percent among straight men. Skin cancer rates were 5.9 percent among lesbians, lower than the 6.6 percent rate among heterosexual women; bisexual women were found to have some of the lowest rates of skin cancer at 4.7 percent.
The causes of the elevated rates among gay and bi men — whether because of factors like HIV, health disparities, or lifestyle decisions — were not made clear in the study. A study published last year found that tanning salons often operate in neighborhoods where many gay and bisexual men live. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital hope to next study causation factors.