STUDY: Gay Men Who Get Married Live Longer, But Not Lesbians

gay-seniorsResearch out of Denmark indicates that gay men in same-sex marriages are living longer than their single counterparts—but the same cannot be said of married lesbians, according to HealthDay.

A study published in The International Journal of Epidemiology claims the death rate among Danish men in same-sex partnerships has dropped significantly since the 1989, when Denmark became the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex partnerships.

The real drop began in 1996, though, and now the death rate for married gay men is below that of unmarried or divorced heterosexual men, and closer to that of heterosexual men, who see their life expectancy significantly buoyed if they tie the knot.

Factors for this decline include improved treatments for HIV and the simple benefit of having someone look after you. (Your mom won’t be around forever, you know.)

Unfortunately, this marriage perk doesn’t seem to extend to women in same-sex partnerships—their death rate has actually increased in the last decade. “Lesbians may constitute a largely unnoticed high-risk population for suicide and breast cancer, so our findings call for efforts to identify the underlying factors responsible and ensure access to basic health care in this population,” says researcher Morten Frisch.

If we needed another argument for marriage equality, helping people live longer is a pretty darn good one.


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  • Joetx

    The wingnuts don’t want us living longer.

    I suspect they want the opposite.


    “‘Lesbians may constitute a largely unnoticed high-risk population for suicide and breast cancer'”
    I’m very surprised…I can’t think of any reason why that would be. Hopefully Morten Frisch’s research can find some answers.

  • Fidelio

    The factors for the decline mentioned here don’t make sense. HIV medication doesn’t, necessarily, increase life expectancy and heterosexual married couples have the same benefit of being cared for by their significant other. I wonder what other factors are being considered.

  • LandStander

    @Fidelio: That is the problem with taking studies like this serious. We are given only 1 set of factors, and are told to draw a conclusion off of that. What was the sample size? What type of medical care did they receive? Are they just going off of death records? How are they telling “single gay men” from “single straight men” (we don’t have pink triangles on our foreheads). The questions go on and on. Show me a real study please, with a sample size several thousand strong, with proper controls.

  • WayDifferent

    I’m sure weight and obesity wasn’t considered here. Yet men, of any sexual orientation, are still bearing the brunt of health insurance premiums because of stats from the last century.

  • WayDifferent

    @Fidelio: @Fidelio: Less Fat, less hostility, misery and aggression.

  • Rockery


    HIV meds don’t necessarily increase life expectancy? What does that even mean? Like Tylenol doesn’t necessarily relieve pain?

    Being in a LTR is not for everyone, but even just having someone there to notice if something goes wrong will increase life expectancy ie: heart attacks, strokes etc

    I have unfortunately seen and heard of many men dying in their homes and wonder if they could have been saved if someone was there

  • WayDifferent

    @Rockery: Even my little Napolean Complex dog is smart enough to know this by “burying” his cookies all over the house. He knows he’s got about a 3 day supply of food until they find him and his brother if that guy croaks.

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