High school students who say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual are at greater risk for engaging in unhealthy practices and risky behaviors, the Cennters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said June 6.

Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, gay and bisexual students are more likely to abuse tobacco and alcohol, engage in violence, attempt suicide and practice risky sex, according to the survey of 156,000 ninth through 12th graders.

The conclusion was drawn from CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted between 2001 through 2009. Students were interviewed in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Students were also surveyed in Boston, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco

The report marked the first attempt by the CDC to track behaviors across a wide range of states, includinjg large urban school districts and contrast risk behaviors. According to CDC officials, the findings reflect troubled young people.

“This report should be a wake-up call for families, schools and communities that we need to do a much better job of supporting these young people,” said Howell Wechsler, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). “Any effort to promote adolescent health and safety must take into account the additional stresses these youth experience because of their sexual orientation, such as stigma, discrimination, and victimization.”

The data came from anonymous interviews and tracked 76 health risks.

The study, “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12 in Selected Sites—Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, United States, 2001-20009,” was published as a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summary.