Lesbians are more likely to experience higher levels of stress and depression than straight women around the winter-holiday season, according to a new study conducted by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with the local Witeck-Combs Communications marketing firm with expertise in the GLBT market.
The study was conducted online among U.S. participants over the age of 18, between Nov. 7 and 13.
According to a Dec. 18 release touting the survey, 2,625 people participated in the survey. Of those, 111 identified specifically as lesbian. Eighty percent of those lesbians said they feel stressed around the holidays, compared to the 64 percent of heterosexual women who said they feel stressed.
Fifty one percent of lesbian participants reported to have been depressed around the holidays, compared to 36 percent of heterosexual women.
Lesbians who participated in the study displayed a higher smoking rate than their heterosexual counterparts, and also showed to be less likely to quit smoking in the next 12 months than their straight peers.
''Stress and depression have major impacts on quality of life, workplace productivity and leisure activity, as well as on development and management of such conditions as hypertension and other cardiovascular disease,'' Dr. Linda Spooner, chair of the Mautner Project, pointed out in the Dec. 18 release.
''In addition, sleep disorders, asthma, anxiety, treatments for cancer, recovery from surgery and perhaps the development of illnesses such as diabetes are also impacted,'' Spooner added, suggesting more funding for lesbian health initiatives.
For more information about this study, visit www.witeckcombs.com.