Study: Gender-Affirming Care Decreases Depression for Trans Youth
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Depression and thoughts of suicide are higher among transgender youth. But studies show that gender-affirming care improves their mental health. Comments from Diana Tordoff, epidemiologist, University of Washington.
Transgender youths face increased risks of depression and suicide compared with other young people, but the latest study finds gender-affirming care helps reduce those risks.
University of Washington epidemiologist Diana Tordoff said medication such as puberty blockers has been used for more than 30 years - and not just by trans youth. Similarly, she said, gender-affirming hormone therapy, such as testosterone or estrogen, is nothing new and helps a young person experience puberty properly aligned with their gender.
In her study, Tordoff followed more than 100 trans youths between the ages of 13 and 20 over the course of a year.
"The main findings of our study," she said, "is that youths who received puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones were 60% less likely to be depressed, and 73% less likely to have suicidal thoughts, compared to youth who did not receive those medications."
Tordoff said the results aren't surprising, and this is just the most recent research to show that gender-affirming care improves mental health for trans youth. She added that other studies have found the positive impacts can last into adulthood. The UW study was done in collaboration with the Seattle Children's Hospital Gender Clinic.
Tordoff said anti-trans discrimination and stigma has effects on people's mental health. That includes inaccurate portrayals in the media and a record-breaking slate of recent legislation targeting trans people across the country. But she also noted that trans youths can thrive when they are supported by their families and communities.
"What we keep saying over and over again, because it's true, is that gender-affirming care is life-saving care and it's also life-giving care," she said. "It really allows people to thrive and live their best lives as their most authentic selves."
She listed many barriers to getting that care, including financial and geographical, plus insurance coverage and long wait times to see pediatric providers. She added that only one in five young people who could benefit from gender-affirming hormones access them.
Report: &quot;Association of Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy With Depression, Thoughts of Suicide, and Attempted Suicide Among Transgender and Nonbinary Youth&quot; Journal of Adolescent Health 12/14/2021
get more stories like this via email
This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …
Health and Wellness
Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…
The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …
Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…
Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …
Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …
Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…
Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …