Insights into transgender health in USA – research by Dr. Ballout

Dr. Suha Ballout, LebMASH board member and Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Boston College of Nursing and Health Sciences, presented at GLMA. The talk titled “Transgender Health: An Analysis of Chronic Health Conditions Using the 2015 Population-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey BRFSS” presented findings of an analysis conducted by Dr. Ballout to examine the sociodemographic characteristics, general health, and multiple chronic health conditions among transgender individuals.

The transgender community is exposed to multilevel stressors that negatively impact health outcomes thus creating health disparities that need immediate attention. The burden of chronic conditions among the transgender community is not very well understood. Findings showed that transgender individuals had significantly higher odds for stand cardiac disease whereas the odds for cancer were significantly lower among nontransgender individuals as compared to nontransgender individuals. This population-based and representative analysis of BRFSS data sheds light on the excess chronic health conditions and potential health disparities faced by the transgender community. Findings accentuate the urgent need for transgender-specific research and interventions to prevent and manage chronic diseases.