Few Health Differences for Trans, Cisgender Veterans

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Despite similar levels of access to health care, transgender veterans had higher odds of having at least 1 disability than cisgender veterans.
Despite similar levels of access to health care, transgender veterans had higher odds of having at least 1 disability than cisgender veterans.

HealthDay News — Transgender U.S. veterans have few health differences compared with cisgender veterans, although the odds of having at least one disability are higher for transgender veterans, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

Janelle Downing, Ph.D., from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and colleagues used population-level data for 2014 to 2016 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine whether and how the health of transgender service members differs from that of cisgender service members.

An estimated 0.5 percent of veterans in the sample self-identified as transgender. The researchers found very few differences among veterans, although transgender civilians had worse health than cisgender civilians across most indicators. Despite similar levels of access to health care, transgender veterans had higher odds of having at least one disability than cisgender veterans.

"These findings largely suggest that transgender veterans do not have worse health than cisgender veterans," the authors write.

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