10 May 2019
To examine cross-sectional and prospective associations between perceived discrimination in daily life (based on a range of attributes), sexual orientation discrimination, and health and wellbeing in middle-aged and older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.
Data were from 304 LGB men and women aged 41–85 years participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Perceived discrimination in daily life was reported in 2010/11. Participants could attribute their discrimination experience to characteristics including age, sex, race, physical disability, and sexual orientation. Self-rated health, limiting long-standing illness, depressive symptoms, quality of life, life satisfaction and loneliness were assessed in 2010/11 and 2016/17. Analyses adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, partnership status and socioeconomic position.
Perceived discrimination in daily life was reported by 144 (47.4%) participants. Cross-sectionally, perceived discrimination in daily life was associated with increased odds of depressive symptoms (OR = 2.30, 95% CI 1.02 to 5.21), loneliness (OR = 3.37, 95% CI 1.60 to 7.10) and lower quality of life (B = -3.31, 95% CI -5.49 to -1.12). Prospectively, perceived discrimination in daily life was associated with increased odds of loneliness (OR = 3.12, 95% CI 1.08 to 8.99) and lower quality of life (B = -2.08, 95% CI -3.85 to -0.31) and life satisfaction (B = -1.92, 95% CI -3.44 to -0.39) over six-year follow-up. Effect sizes were consistently larger for participants who attributed experiences of discrimination to their sexual orientation compared with those who attributed experiences of discrimination to other reasons (e.g. age, sex, race).
These results provide cross-sectional and prospective evidence of associations between perceived discrimination in daily life and health and wellbeing outcomes in middle-aged and older LGB adults in England.
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