LGBTQ People at Greater Risk of Severe COVID-19 Symptoms, CDC Finds

The LGBTQ community is at greater risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the report, which was published Thursday (February 5), members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to have underlying health conditions putting them at increased risk for both contracting the virus and experiencing severe symptoms.

When age, sex, and survey year were adjusted, sexual minorities were more likely to have “cancer, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease (including myocardial infraction, angina, or coronary heart disease), obesity, smoking, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and stroke” than heterosexual people. The same risks are even more prevalent among racial and ethnic minorities who are part of the LGBTQ community.

“Persons who are members of both sexual minority and racial/ethnic minority groups might therefore experience a convergence of distinct social, economic, and environmental disadvantages that increase chronic disease disparities and the risk for adverse COVID-19-related outcomes,” the report said.

LGBTQ people are also more likely to experience discrimination and stigma, which may increase risk of illness and limit access to health care.