Health related behaviors and cancer screening of lesbians: results of the Boston Lesbian Health Project II

Women Health. 2004;39(4):41-55. doi: 10.1300/J013v39n04_03.


This paper reports data on health related behaviors and cancer screening from the Boston Lesbian Health Project II (BLHP II), a replication of a national survey of lesbians on a variety of health-related variables completed in 1987. The findings suggest that lesbians have increased their use of primary care, including routine physical examinations, pap smear screening for cervical cancer, and mammography for breast cancer, but that rates continue to be lower than would be expected for women in general. Younger lesbians in this sample smoked at high rates. Smoking rates continue to be of concern in other age groups, although they are lower than national data from women in general. BLHP II data confirm other findings that lesbians are more likely to drink alcohol and to drink more heavily than other women. Implications for health care of lesbians and future research with this population are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors