Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research

News Post

10th Year of Annual UT PRIDE Survey Continues to Provide Critical Information on Unique Risks Faced by LGBTQ+ Groups in Texas

Published: June 10, 2024

Dr. Tami-Maury with a group of Pride festival participants.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the annual UT PRIDE Survey, which was initially designed by UTHealth Houston School of Public Health researchers to assess tobacco use and nicotine addiction among LGBTQ+ identified individuals. The data gathered by the survey has been essential to the development and evaluation of tobacco prevention and control interventions intended for sexual and gender minority groups.

“The initial focus of our survey was on tobacco use and nicotine addiction among LGBTQ+ groups,” said Irene Tami-Maury, DMD, DrPH, MSc, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences. “We recognized the disproportionate impact these issues have on this community.”

Tobacco use and nicotine addiction rates among sexual and gender minority groups are significantly higher than among the general population, resulting in an increased risk of cancer, stroke, and other health issues faced by the LGBTQ+ population. Despite these disparities, many gaps still exist in knowledge about LGBTQ+ smoking, vaping, nicotine addiction patterns, and other related behaviors among sexual and gender minority groups.

“As we delved deeper over the past 10 years, it became evident that a broader assessment of risks was necessary to truly address LGBTQ+ groups’ needs and improve their overall quality of life,” said Tami-Maury.

Each June since 2014, Dr. Tami-Maury’s research team has worked alongside local organizations to collect information during the PRIDE month, a time dedicated to celebrating and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and visibility. By launching the survey during this significant period, the research team aims to engage a diverse and representative sample of the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging participation and ensuring that the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals are accurately captured and addressed.

Over the years, Dr. Tami-Maury’s team has adapted the bilingual survey (English and Spanish) to be administered online and over-the-phone to increase its reach in Texas and to respond to challenges like COVID-19 and Festival cancellations.

“For the 2024 edition of the UT PRIDE Survey, we have expanded our focus to include oral health and dental care, recognizing that these are vital components of the overall well-being of any individual, including the LGBTQ+ community,” said Tami-Maury.

After analyzing responses to the 2022 survey, which was distributed to 183 LGBTQ+ individuals, the research team found that gay/bisexual men had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, and HIV diagnosis compared to lesbian/bisexual women. They also found that gay/bisexual men were 2.79 times more likely to have a higher risk for stroke compared to lesbian/bisexual women.

“The results from our latest collaboration with the UTHealth Houston Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease highlight the urgent need for targeted interventions and underscore the importance of our ongoing research to better understand and address the specific health risks faced by different segments of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Tami-Maury.

You can learn more about the 2022 survey results in the publication “Comparing Stroke Risk Factors Among Sexual Minority Groups in Texas” in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

This year’s PRIDE Survey is available now in English and in Spanish.