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Purpose: The aim was to examine differences in health care access at the intersections of urbanicity and sexual identity in California. Methods: We used the 2014-2017 Adult California Health Interview Survey paired with the sexual orientation special use research file to create dummy groups representing each dimension of urbanicity and sexual identity to compare access to health care outcomes. We calculated unadjusted proportions and estimated adjusted odds ratios of each dimension relative to urban heterosexual people using logistic regressions. Results: Relative to urban heterosexual people, urban gay/lesbian people had 1.651 odds of using the emergency room (ER). Urban bisexual people had 1.429 odds of being uninsured, 1.575 odds of delaying prescriptions, and 1.907 odds of using the ER. Rural bisexual people experienced similar access barriers having 1.904 odds of uninsurance and 2.571 odds of using the ER. Conclusions: Our study findings demonstrated disparate access to health care across sexual orientation and rurality. The findings are consistent with literature that suggests urban and rural sexual minority people experience health care differently and demonstrate that bisexual people experience health care differently than gay/lesbian people. These findings warrant further study to examine how social identities, such as race/ethnicity, interact with sexual orientation to determine health care access. Furthermore, these findings demonstrate the need to emphasize the health care access needs of sexual minority people in both rural and urban areas to eliminate health care access disparities.


Ellesse-Roselee L Akré, Bradley O Boekeloo, Typhanye Dyer, Andrew T Fenelon, Luisa Franzini, Neil J Sehgal, Dylan H Roby. Disparities in Health Care Access and Utilization at the Intersections of Urbanicity and Sexual Identity in California. LGBT health. 2021 Apr;8(3):231-239

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PMID: 33600724

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