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One in four LGBQ youths have attempted suicide in the US, new study finds

The study looked at suicide risks among lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth

2017-12-21

A new study has found that one in four queer youths attempt suicide in the United States. 

Conducted by Theodore Caputi, Davey Smith and John Ayers for the Journal of the American Medical Association, the report studied nationally representative data from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey.

It surveyed almost 16,000 youths and asked participants if they had either seriously considered suicide, planned suicide or attempted suicide. 

The study found that around 24.9% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning participants said they attempted suicide at least once in the past year, compared to just 6.3% of heterosexual adolescents. 

It also revealed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning teens were almost twice as likely to consider suicide; at 40% compared to the 14.8% for heterosexuals. 

Around 34.9% of LGBQ respondents claimed to have planned their suicide, while only 11.9% of heterosexuals had acted similarly. 

According to the study, lesbians were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual women, and the odds were more than tripled for bisexuals. 

Meanwhile, gay participants were more than four times as likely to attemp suicide compared to straight males, and bisexual men were more than five times at risk.

Researcher John Ayers told Reuters that the suicide risks in LGBQ teens are "staggeringly high," and called it a public health crisis. 

He said: "We must recognise LGBQ teen suicide is a national public health crisis and bring extraordinary resources to bear to address the crisis."

The study was unable to look at the LGBTQ community as a whole, and noted that it's "limited by the lack of data for suicide risks among transgender adolescents."