A community-based study of demographics, medical and psychiatric conditions, and gender dysphoria/incongruence treatment in transgender/gender diverse individuals

Haleigh A. James, Alice Y. Chang, Reese L. Imhof, Aradhana Sahoo, Monique M. Montenegro, Nicole R. Imhof, Cesar A. Gonzalez, Aida N. Lteif, Todd B. Nippoldt, Caroline J. Davidge-Pitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Current understanding about health care in the gender diverse population is limited by the lack of community-based, longitudinal data, especially in the USA. We sought to characterize a community-based cohort of transgender individuals including demographics, gender identities, social characteristics, psychiatric and medical conditions, and medical therapy for gender dysphoria/incongruence. Patients and methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of gender diverse residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, who sought gender-specific healthcare from January 1, 1974, through December 31, 2015, using an infrastructure that links medical records of Olmsted County residents from multiple institutions. Results: The number of patients seeking gender-specific healthcare increased from 1 to 2 per 5-year interval during the 1970s-1990s to 41 from 2011 to 2015 (n = 82). Forty-nine (59.8%) were assigned male sex at birth (AMAB), 31 (37.8%) were assigned female (AFAB), and 2 (2.4%) were intersex. Gender identities evolved over time in 16.3% and 16.1% of patients AMAB and AFAB, respectively, and at most recent follow-up, 8.2% and 12.9% of patients AMAB and AFAB, respectively, were non-binary. Depression affected 78%, followed by anxiety (62.2%), personality disorder (22%), and post-Traumatic stress disorder (14.6%). 58.5% experienced suicidal ideation, 22% attempted suicide, and 36.6% were victims of abuse. The most prevalent medical conditions and cardiovascular (CV) risk factors included obesity (42.7%), tobacco use (40.2%), fracture [34.1% (86.2% traumatic)], hypertension (25.6%), hyperlipidemia (25.6%), and hypertriglyceridemia (15.9%). 67.3% of patients AMAB used feminizing and 48.4% of patients AFAB used masculinizing hormone therapy. When compared to US CDC National Health Statistics, there was a significantly greater prevalence of depression and anxiety but no difference in the prevalence of obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, or stroke. Conclusion: Transgender and gender diverse individuals represent a population who express various gender identities and are seeking gender-specific healthcare at increasing rates. Psychiatric illness is highly prevalent compared to the US population but there is no difference in the prevalence of CV risk factors including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number55
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Endocrinology

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