Safety of Cross-Sex Hormones for Transgender Teens

HealthDay News — Cross-sex hormones appear to be safe for transgender adolescents, according to a study published online April 6 in Pediatrics.

Jason Jarin, MD, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from transgender adolescents (aged 14 to 25 years) seen at clinical sites between 2008 and 2014 for cross-sex hormone therapy. Subjects were divided into 72 affirmed male (female-to-male) patients taking testosterone and 44 affirmed female (male-to-female) patients taking estrogen. Metabolic parameters were measured before the start of therapy, at 1 to 3 months after initiation, at 4 to 6 months, and at 6 months and beyond.

The researchers found that of the 72 subjects taking testosterone, at each visit significant increases in hemoglobin/hematocrit levels and BMI were recorded, as was a decrease in high-density lipoprotein level. There were no statistically significant changes noted in metabolic parameters among the 44 subjects taking estrogen.

“The findings support the short-term safety of cross-sex hormones in transgender adolescents,” the authors write.

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Jarin J, Pine-Twaddel E, Trotman G, et al. Cross-sex hormones and metabolic parameters in adolescents with gender dysphoria [published online April 6, 2017]. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-3173