NEW YORK — The discrimination experienced by sexual minorities can increase the chance of a heart attack, but support from their father may be an antidote, according to new research from New York University, ABC News reports.
“Father support mitigates the negative effects of discrimination on inflammation, but only for low to moderate levels,” Dr. Stephanie Cook, senior author of the study and assistant professor of biostatics and social behavioral sciences at New York University College of Global Public Health, told ABC News.
“We neglect the role of fathers and we need to increase interventions as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer youth are more likely to be rejected by their fathers. Public policy needs to focus on how we can increase support,” she said.
Researchers examined C-reactive proteins, or CRP, which increase when something starts to become inflamed in the body. This biomarker can be measured in the blood and may potentially predict future cardiovascular risk. Researchers looked at CRP in relation to perceived discrimination with both maternal and paternal support, ABC News reports.
The study took high schoolers in grades seven-12 who were subsequently followed into young adulthood. They were interviewed about their sexual orientation, and those who were sexual minorities were asked about any discrimination they’d felt, and the social support they got from their father and mother.