Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to control and utilise sugar (glucose) as fuel is impaired. Too much sugar circulates in the bloodstream as a result of this long-term (chronic) disease. High blood sugar levels can eventually cause problems with the circulatory, neurological, and immunological systems.
Type 2 diabetes has no cure, but cutting weight, eating healthily, and exercising can help you manage it. If diet and exercise aren’t adequate to control your blood sugar, diabetes medicines or insulin therapy may be required.
A new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, investigating the relationship between Hormone Use and Diabetes Incidence in transgender people, reveals that transgender women, but not cisgender men, may have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than cisgender women.
In the United States, around 1 million people identify as transgender, and health care clinicians are facing an increasing number of transgender and gender-diverse patients in their clinics. An essential goal of transgender health research is to better understand the metabolic alterations that occur as a result of gender-affirming hormone therapy, with type 2 diabetes being a particular focus of attention.
“Our study findings provide some reassurance that gender-affirming therapy does not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but our analysis was not designed to evaluate more subtle subclinical changes,” says Noreen Islam, M.D., M.P.H., of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga.
“For this reason, health care providers should continue monitoring the metabolic status of individuals receiving gender-affirming therapy.”
The researchers looked at data from an electronic health record-based cohort study of adults 18 years and older who were enrolled in three integrated health care systems across a nine-year period, according to the findings. Transgender women accounted for 2,869 of the cohort, which was matched to 28,300 cisgender women and 28,258 cisgender men; transgender males made up 2,133 of the cohort, which was matched to 20,997 cisgender women and 20,964 transgender men.
When comparing transgender women to cisgender women, type 2 diabetes was found to be more prevalent. When someone is classified as cisgender, it means that they have a gender identity that is the same as the sex assigned to them when they were born. According to the findings, there were no statistically significant changes in type 2 diabetes prevalence or incidence among the remaining comparator groups, whether they were transgender people having gender-affirming hormone therapy or not.
“Although more research is needed, there is little evidence that type 2 diabetes occurrence in either transgender women or transgender men is attributable to gender-affirming hormone therapy, at least in the short term,” says the study author.
Source: THE ENDOCRINE SOCIETY
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