Teens who received gender-affirming care had 60% lower odds of depression, UW study finds

The study found that providing gender-affirming care to teenagers at the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic likely reduced rates of depression and suicidal thoughts.

SEATTLES — Editor’s Note: This story has been modified to reflect updated language from UW Medicine.

A University of Washington study found that gender-affirming treatment, including hormone blockers, testosterone, or estrogen, offered to teenagers at the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic is likely to reduce rates of depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

The study was conducted by a fourth-year student at UW Medicine, Arin Collin, and a UW Ph.D. Candidate in Epidemiology Diana Tordoff. The authors followed 104 patients between the ages of 13 and 20 years in the clinic for one year.

The authors cited research showing that up to 72% of transgender youth suffer from depression and half have seriously considered suicide. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and the CDC, anywhere from 750,000 to 1.1 million adolescents in the US identify as transgender or non-binary.

At baseline, 59 patients reported moderate to severe depression and 45 patients reported self-harm or suicidal thoughts. At the end of the study, 66.3% of the patients had received anti-puberty drugs, estrogen or testosterone.

Adolescents who received gender-affirming care were 60% less likely to experience depression and 73% less likely to experience self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

“Gender-affirming care is life-saving care,” Collin told UW News. “This nursing has great power to backtrack negative mental health impacts experienced by the vast majority of the transgender population [experiences] at a very young age.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently issued a directive directing the Department of Families and Protective Services to begin child abuse investigations against parents who help their transgender children receive gender-affirming care. A judge blocked the policy on Friday.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/gender-affirming-care-reduces-depression-university-of-washington-study-transgender-nonbinary/281-bcfece1b-a7cb-4c95-80d0-3f02c597d783 Teens who received gender-affirming care had 60% lower odds of depression, UW study finds

Alley Einstein

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