The Relative Odds of Lifetime Health Conditions and Infectious Diseases among Men Who Have Sex with Men Compared with a Matched General Population Sample

2017-01-14T00:00:00Z (GMT) by J.A. Swartz
To address the understudy of health conditions and infectious diseases that are not strictly related to sexual transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM), this study examined the relative odds of ten health conditions and two infectious diseases in a sample of MSM compared with a matched general population sample. MSM (N = 653) living mainly in Chicago were sampled through successive administrations of an Internet-based survey (2008 – 2010) that assessed physical and mental health, substance use, and HIV status. Propensity score matching was used to obtain a demographically comparable sample of men (N = 653) from aggregated administrations (2008 - 2012) of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Multivariate firth logistic regressions compared the odds of ever having been diagnosed with each condition or disease, controlling for demographics, substance use, psychological distress, and HIV/AIDS status. MSM were more likely (p < .01) to have experienced: ulcers (OR=2.3), hypertension (OR = 2.1), liver disease (OR = 5.7), and sexually transmitted infections other than HIV/AIDS (OR = 8.9). Two other conditions, pneumonia, and pancreatitis, as well as tuberculosis, were significant at p < .05 but below the statistical threshold used to reduce alpha error. The findings suggest that relative to non sexualminority men, MSM are more likely to experience a range of health conditions not specifically attributable to HIV/AIDS, sexual behavior, psychological distress, or substance use. The implications for research on the health status and provision of health care to MSM in light of the study findings are considered.