THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) — Gay men who live in states where same-sex marriage is legal are healthier, have less stress, make fewer doctor visits and have lower health-care costs, a new study finds.
It included more than 1,200 patients at a large Massachusetts health clinic that provides services for gay men and other sexual minorities.
During the 12 months after the 2003 legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, there was a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health visits and mental health-care costs among gay and bisexual men, compared to the 12 months before the law changed.
This led to a 13 percent reduction in health-care visits and a 14 percent reduction in health-care costs. The health benefits were similar for single gay men and those with partners.
No reduction was seen in HIV-related health visits by HIV-positive men, which suggests that those in need of HIV/AIDS care continued to use needed health-care services, the researchers said.
The study was published online Dec. 15 in the American Journal of Public Health.