University of Hertfordshire

Older LGBT+ health inequalities in the UK: setting a research agenda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Susan Westwood
  • Paul Willis
  • Julie Fish
  • Trish Hafford-Letchfield
  • Joanne Semlyen
  • Andrew KIng
  • Brian Beach
  • Kathryn Almack
  • Dylan Kneale
  • Michael Toze
  • Laia Becares
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-411
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Early online date21 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans+ (LGBT+) people report poorer health than the general population and worse experiences of healthcare particularly cancer, palliative/end-of-life, dementia and mental health provision. This is attributable to: a) social inequalities, including ‘minority stress’; b) associated health-risk behaviours (e.g. smoking, excessive drug/alcohol use, obesity); c) loneliness and isolation, affecting physical/mental health and mortality; d) anticipated/experienced discrimination and e) inadequate understandings of needs among healthcare providers. Older LGBT+ people are particularly affected, due to the effects of both cumulative disadvantage and ageing. There is a need for greater and more robust research data to support growing international and national government initiatives aimed at addressing these health inequalities. We identify seven key research strategies: 1) Production of large datasets; 2) Comparative data collection; 3) Addressing diversity and intersectionality among LGBT+ older people; 4) Investigation of healthcare services’ capacity to deliver LGBT+ affirmative healthcare and associated education and training needs; 5) Identification of effective health promotion and/or treatment interventions for older LGBT+ people, and sub-groups within this umbrella category; 6) Development an (older) LGBT+ health equity model; 7) Utilisation of social justice concepts to ensure meaningful, change-orientated data production which will inform and support government policy, health promotion and healthcare interventions.


This article has been accepted for publication in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2020, following peer review, and the Version of Record can be accessed online at © Authors (or their employer(s) 2020. Reuse of this manuscript version (excluding any databases, tables, diagrams, photographs and other images or illustrative material included where a another copyright owner is identified) is permitted strictly pursuant to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International licence (CC-BY-NC 4.0)

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