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Diminished HRQOL More Likely Among Transgender Adults

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 -- Transgender adults are more likely to report diminished health-related quality of life (HRQOL), according to a research letter published online April 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kellan E. Baker, M.P.H., from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, compared HRQOL between transgender and cisgender adults in a probability sample of the transgender population. Data were included from the pooled 2014 to 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System dataset, with 3,075 transgender and 719,484 cisgender responses.

Baker found that transgender individuals comprised 0.55 percent of the sample, equivalent to 1.27 million adults in the general U.S. population. More transgender adults reported current cigarette use (19.2 versus 16.3 percent) and physical inactivity (35.0 versus 25.6 percent) compared with cisgender adults, and fewer reported having health insurance (79.9 versus 85.4 percent). In the previous 30 days, transgender adults were more likely to report diminished HRQOL as measured by greater odds of fair or poor health or severe mental distress (adjusted odds ratios, 1.30 and 1.66, respectively). More days of combined poor physical and mental health and of activity limitation were also reported by transgender adults (adjusted mean difference, 1.20 and 1.34 days, respectively).

"These disparities require informed attention from clinicians and policy makers and further investigation by researchers," Baker writes. "Future analyses should investigate differences within the transgender population by factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation."

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Posted: April 2019

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