Bottom Line: Adolescents who don't identify as heterosexual appear to have a greater risk of attempted suicide.
Why The Research Is Interesting: Suicide is among the leading causes of death for adolescents and increasing evidence suggests a greater risk of attempted suicide by adolescents who are sexual minorities. This study estimated the risk of attempted suicide among sexual minority adolescents and differentiated between sexual minority groups (homosexual, bisexual and transgender).
Who and When: More than 2.3 million heterosexual and 113,468 sexual minority adolescents from 35 studies conducted in 10 countries
What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Increased odds of attempted suicide among sexual minority youths compared with heterosexual peers
How (Study Design): This was a systematic review and meta-analysis. A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple studies identified in a systematic review and quantitatively summarizes the overall association between the same exposure and outcomes measured across all studies.
Authors: Ester di Giacomo, M.D., of the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, and coauthors
Study Limitations: Data were self-reported; transgender youths were identified as an individual group in one study
Study Conclusions: Public awareness is important. Education and public health planning should include an evaluation of supportive strategies for sexual minority adolescents such as support programs, counseling and efforts at destigmatizing.
Source: JAMA Pediatrics
Journal: JAMA Pediatrics