One in every 256 people are estimated to be transgender; one in twenty young adults report being transgender or nonbinary (identifying with neither gender; Pew 2022).
Transgender population estimates rely on self-reporting, which can be influenced by perceptions of community discrimination against lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer individuals (Meerwijk 2017; Coffman 2013).
The WHO outlines the specific health needs and access to care for transgender individuals, including gender-affirming hormone therapy and surgery (WHO 2022).
Transgender youth who get gender-affirming care report 15% less suicidal ideation than those who want gender-affirming care but cannot access it (Turban 2019).
Roughly half of transgender individuals report at least one mental health diagnosis, most com-monly major depression and anxiety (Wanta 2019). Transgender individuals have an increased risk for suicide due to stress from hiding their gender identities, violence from others, community exclusion, and family discrimination, rejection, or abuse (Bauer 2015; Austin 2020; Figure 1).
Figure 1. Transgender individuals face discrimination at school, work and in public. Bars indicate the percentage of transgender individuals (of 7,500 surveyed) who self-report facing stigma and discrimination in these scenarios over the last year. (CDC 2022).
A survey of 372 transgender youth found more than half had reported past suicide attempts and 86% had considered suicide (Austin 2020).
In a study of more than 400 transgender people, roughly 20% delayed routine health care for fear of discrimination (Seelman 2017).
In another study, transgender people of color (i.e. African American) reported higher rates of discrimination and depression (25% vs. 16%) than White transgender people (Jefferson 2014).
Transgender youth are at a 25-45% increased risk of using substances like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription opioids to cope with psychological stress (Barbee 2022).
Transgender patients on puberty blockers report experiencing greater body satisfaction and decreased anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts (Ramos 2021).
While studies show that transgender people on HRT are still at higher risk of suicide compared to the general population, no large-scale review measures suicide risk among transgender people before and after HRT (Marshall 2015).
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