The first study in the United States to investigate the long-term outcomes of medical treatment for transgender youth is set to begin in the near future after having been awarded $5.7 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Researchers will conduct a 5-year, multicenter study designed to present evidence-based information on the physiological and psychosocial impact, and the safety of hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones use in this demographic. The study will take place across four academic medical centers with transgender youth clinics.
The study will evaluate 280 transgender youth with gender dysphoria seeking medical intervention to match their physical bodies with gender identity and relieve associated negative effects (eg, anxiety, depression, substance abuse); patient enrollment will start in the fall of 2015.
Two different age groups will be included: younger children in early puberty who will receive GnRH agonists to halt puberty and older adolescents who will start taking masculinizing or feminizing cross-sex hormones to align their gender identity and puberty.
The younger cohort will be assessed for the impact of treatment on mental health, psychological well-being, physiologic parameters, bone health and the safety of hormone blockers. The older cohort will be assessed for the safety of cross-sex hormone administration for phenotypic gender transition, impact on mental health, psychological well-being and various metabolic/physiological parameters.
The study will be led by researchers from the Child and Adolescent Gender Center (CAGC) at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Boston Children’s Hospital.
For more information visit UCSF.edu.
This article originally appeared on MPR