Public Release: 

Transgender veterans diagnosed with significantly more mental and medical health disorders

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, January 6, 2016--The first large, controlled study of health disparities between clinically diagnosed transgender and non-transgender patients--based on the medical records of more than 5,000 patients treated in the Veterans Health Administration--showed that transgender veterans had a significantly greater prevalence of numerous psychiatric and medical conditions. The specific disorders examined and the implications of the study findings are discussed in detail in an article published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free to download on the LGBT Health website until February 6, 2016.

In "Mental Health and Medical Health Disparities in 5135 Transgender Veterans Receiving Healthcare in the Veterans Health Administration: A Case-Control Study"), George Brown, MD, Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Medical Center and East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN), and Kenneth Jones, PhD, Veterans Health Administration (Washington, DC), describe the identification of these health disparities as a first step toward transgender health equity. Follow-up studies are needed to understand the factors that underlie the disparities and to develop and evaluate strategies to intervene and reduce or eliminate them.

In the current study, transgender veterans were significantly more likely to suffer from all ten of the mental health conditions examined, including depression, suicide thoughts or intentions, serious mental illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They also had a much higher prevalence of 16 of 17 medical diagnoses studied, with HIV infection accounting for the largest disparity.

"Employing more robust methods, this study confirms previous reports of transgender health disparities but finds that these disparities are more global than previously appreciated," says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. "The global disparities compared to matched non-transgender veterans have important policy and practice implications that extend beyond the Veterans Health Administration."

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About the Journal

LGBT Health, published bimonthly online with Open Access options and in print, brings together the LGBT research, health care, and advocacy communities to address current challenges and improve the health, well-being, and clinical outcomes of LGBT persons. Spanning a broad array of disciplines, the Journal publishes peer-reviewed original research, review articles, clinical reports, case studies, legal and policy perspectives, and much more. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the LGBT Health website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Transgender Health, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Journal of Women's Health, and Population Health Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's more than 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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