Transgender adults have higher risk of poor health, U.S. study finds

NBC News | 10/24/2018 | Staff
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Transgender adults may be more likely to have unhealthy habits and medical issues that negatively impact their quality of life than people whose gender identity matches what it says on their birth certificates, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers examined survey data from 3,075 transgender adults as well as 719,567 adults who are cisgender, meaning their gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

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Compared to cisgender Americans, transgender individuals were more likely to be sedentary, current smokers, and uninsured, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Transgender people were also 30 percent more likely to report being in “fair” or “poor” health over the past month than cisgender adults, as well as 66 percent more likely to report experiencing severe mental distress.

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“The U.S. has made a lot of progress over the last several years toward acceptance and celebration of natural human diversity in gender identity and expression,” study author Kellan Baker said by email. But between 2014 and 2017 - the period when the survey was done - attitudes shifted and treatment of transgender often got worse, said Baker, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

“This study shows that being a transgender person in the U.S. today - being transgender in a society that you know doesn’t fully accept you - is hard,” Baker added. “It affects your health in negative ways, and that’s why issues such as nondiscrimination protections for transgender people are public health issues.”

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An estimated 0.55 percent of the people in the survey identified as transgender, which suggests there may be about 1.27 million transgender adults in the U.S.

Survey participants were asked if they considered themselves transgender and were given four options to categorize their identities: trans...
(Excerpt) Read more at: NBC News
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