Transgender Adolescents Receive Fewer Preventive Healthcare Services

doctor holding hand of patient
doctor holding hand of patient
Transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents used fewer preventive health services and reported poorer health.

HealthDay News — Transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents use fewer preventive health services and report poorer health than cisgender peers, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.

G. Nicole Rider, PhD, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues assessed data from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey (80,929 students in 9th and 11th grade) regarding students’ self-reported gender identity, perceived gender expression, health status, and health care utilization.

The researchers found that 2168 reported being TGNC (2.7%). Students reporting being TGNC also reported significantly poorer health, lower rates of preventive health checkups, and more nurse office visits than cisgender youth. Nearly two-thirds of TGNC youth (62.1%) reported poor, fair, or good general health versus very good or excellent, compared with 33.1% of cisgender youth (P <.001). Those in the TGNC sample whose gender presentation was perceived as very congruent with their birth-assigned sex were less likely to report poorer health and long-term mental health problems compared to those with other gender presentations.

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“With our results, we suggest that health care providers should screen for health risks and identify barriers to care for TGNC youth while promoting and bolstering wellness within this community,” the authors write.


Rider GN, McMorris BJ, Gower AL, Coleman E, Eisenberg ME. Health and care utilization of transgender and gender nonconforming youth: a population-based study [published online February 5, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-4079