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‘Historic’ report calls for LGBT data in health research, records

IOM Chair Robert Graham

To better understand the health of LGBT people, questions about sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in federally funded surveys and electronic health records, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

The groundbreaking report, considered “historic” by some, is another step in the federal recognition of LGBT people as a population who has its own specific health needs.

“It’s easy to assume that because we are all humans, gender, race, or other characteristics of study participants shouldn’t matter in health research, but they certainly do,” IOM Committee Chair Robert Graham said March 31, when the report was released.

Graham is a professor of family medicine and public health sciences at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.