NIH Recognizes Sexual and Gender Minorities as a Health Disparity Population

On October 6, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Director Eliseo Pérez-Stable announced the “formal designation of sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) as a health disparity population” for the purposes of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-525) gives the directors of NIMHD and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) authority to define health disparity populations. The designation follows recommendations of a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now the National Academy of Medicine) Committee tasked with assessing the current state of knowledge about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as identifying research gaps and formulating a research agenda that could guide NIH in enhancing and focusing its research in this area. In 2015, NIH officially established the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) within its Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI). This office “coordinates sexual and gender minority (SGM)-related research and activities by working directly with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices.”

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