HOUSTON — Despite a dearth of information on how diabetes affects individuals in the LGBTQ community, diabetes care and education specialists can still better serve these patients, according to information presented at the American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting.
“The actual prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes within the LGBTQ [community] has not been established,” Jacqueline LaManna, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, BC-ADM, CDE, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing, told Endocrine Today. “Prevalence studies have primarily used large self-report data sets, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Nurses’ Health Study.”
Some trends have been identified, according to LaManna, such as potentially high instances of prediabetes, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome and insulin resistance.
For sexual minority women, LaManna said, health care providers should focus on lowering cardiovascular risk and prioritizing mental, oral and reproductive health, including genitourinary complications, such as urinary tract infections. For sexual minority men, LaManna recommends a similar approach and addressing sexual health concerns like erectile dysfunction and dermatitis. She also notes that care providers should be aware of increased CV, diabetes and PCOS risks for transgender individuals.
LaManna said health care providers should engage with patients about their specific concerns and update their office environments. They should combat heteronormative procedures in practice and become familiar with resources and tools tailored for this population.
“A major take-home message related to care of LGBTQ individuals with diabetes or diabetes risk is the need to create inclusive, welcoming practices,” LaManna said. “Having materials available that address special concerns of the population is helpful, as is having resources/referral lists that include LGBTQ-friendly providers.” – by Phil Neuffer
LaManna J. P401. Presented at: American Association of Diabetes Educators; Aug. 9-12, 2019; Houston.
Disclosure: LaManna reports no relevant financial disclosures.