A recent study published in the American Heart Association’s Journal Circulation provides new evidence of the risks posed by hormone therapies used as part of the treatments in gender transition processes (read HERE our report).
The following text is exerted from Circulation Journal Report:
People receiving hormone therapy during gender transition had an elevated risk for cardiovascular events, such as strokes, blood clots and heart attacks. The findings underscore the importance of counseling and close monitoring of transgender patients receiving hormone therapy.
The results are based on the analysis of a population of 3,875 Dutch individuals who received hormone treatment between 1972 and 2015 as part of their gender transition.
The study author, Dr Nienke Nota, a researcher in the department of endocrinology at Amsterdam University Medical Centre, said that “in the light of our results, we urge both physicians and transgender individuals to be aware of this increased cardiovascular risk”.
The large study included 2,517 transgender women, median age 30, who received estrogens, with or without androgen suppressors, and 1,358 transgender men, median age 23, who received testosterone as part of their transition.
To evaluate the risk, the researchers determined the incidence of acute cardiovascular events: strokes, heart attacks and deep vein thromboses. They compared their incidence in the transgender population with that reported in the general population. Transwomen were followed for an average of 9 years from the start of hormone therapy, while transmen were followed for 8 years after starting therapy.
The analysis showed that transwomen (male biological sex, but with female gender identity) who received hormones as part of their transition had more than twice as many strokes as women (29 versus 12) and almost twice as many as men (29 versus 16). There were five times more cases of deep vein thrombosis among transwomen (73) than in the female population (13) and 4.5 times more than in the male population (73 versus 16). The prevalence of heart attacks was more than double among transwomen (30) than among women (13). Transmen — those with female biological sex but who had male gender identity and received hormones — had a more than three-fold increase in the risk of a heart attack compared to women (11 versus 3).
“Off label” current treatment as puberty blockers
The researchers warned that their study was based only on a review of medical records and could not take into account risk factors such as smoking, psychosocial stressors, or dietary and exercise habits. While those risk factors probably contribute to the increased cardiovascular risk, the researchers suggest that hormone therapy may also contribute to the increased risk (1).
In previous studies, other side effects have been found when using these therapies which, it should be clarified, are not legally authorized for use in gender transition and their administration is “off label” or outside the authorized therapeutic indication (see HERE).
(1) – López J, González C. Valoración de la supresión de la pubertad en menores con problemas de identidad de género. Cuadernos de Bioética. 2018;29(97):247-56. DOI:10.30444/CB.9