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Most Teens Continue Gender-Affirming Hormones Into Adulthood

In a recent study, 98 percent continued with hormone treatment at follow-up

FRIDAY, Oct. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Most adolescents who start gender-affirming hormone treatment continue treatment into adulthood, according to a Dutch study published online Oct. 20 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Maria Anna Theodora Catharina van der Loos, M.D., from Amsterdam UMC in the Netherlands, and colleagues used data from the Amsterdam Cohort of Gender dysphoria to examine the proportion of people who continued gender-affirming hormone treatment at follow-up after having started medical treatment in adolescence with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) for puberty suppression. Data were included for 720 people: 220 were assigned male at birth and 500 were assigned female at birth.

The median age at the start of GnRHa treatment was 14.1 years and 16.0 years for those assigned male and female at birth, respectively. The median age at the end of data collection was 20.2 years for those assigned male at birth and 19.2 years for those assigned female at birth. The researchers found that 98 percent of the people who started gender-affirming medical treatment in adolescence continued to use gender-affirming hormone treatment at follow-up. No correlation was seen for age at first visit, year of first visit, age and puberty stage at the start of GnRHa treatment, age at the start of gender-affirming hormone treatment, year of the start of gender-affirming hormone treatment, or gonadectomy with discontinuation of gender-affirming hormones.

“Educating all young people who undergo gender-affirming treatment on the need for continued hormone treatment and on the health risks of discontinuing treatment should be a priority,” the authors write.

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