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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies