Patients receiving hormone therapy as part of their gender-transition treatment have an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks, strokes and blood clotting, researchers say.

Researchers determined and compared the incidence of CVD cases in the transgender population with that reported in the general population. 

The study showed that transwomen — individuals, assigned male sex at birth but with female gender identity, receiving hormones as part of their transition — had more than twice as many strokes as women and nearly twice as many strokes as men.

In addition, there were five times as many blood clotting among transwomen than women and 4.5 times more than men. 

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One of the best gifts: access to hormone replacement therapy 💖💙 STORY TIME: Wednesday’s are shot day for me, and I’ve been using my old vial of estrogen for longer than recommended by my doctor because I haven’t had time/anxiety because the best care I’ve found is in a busy touristy area of Seattle. So I went to renew my prescription on the same day I needed to take it, but my insurance denied to cover it because they couldn’t verify my birthdate. 2 months ago this same thing happened because they didn’t have my legal name change on file even though it’s been 3 years since my name change and I had no problem in the past. So this is odd. Luckily my pharmacist knows me and understands how important my medication is to my overall mental and physical health. She knows by memory that Wednesday’s are my shot day and remembered it had been a while since I came in. She asked if I needed it for today. I said yes. So she gave my prescription to me and said we’ll solve this problem and she’ll save the charge on my file until my insurance approves it. I am so relieved and thankful for understanding people in the medical field. I still have to deal with my insurance, but I’m so thankful to have coverage. Insurance is difficult to get and afford especially for trans people. I have been without coverage for hormones on multiple occasions and couldn’t always afford it. Additionally there’s a national shortage of injectable estrogen due to bureaucratic decisions made by transphobic and greedy older white men. I’ve had to wait weeks before while waiting for my medication to be back in stock. So this holiday season I am very grateful to have my medication. #hrt #hormonereplacementtherapy #hormones #trans #transgender #nonbinary #transwoman #transgirl #mtf #amab #hormonetherapy #hormonemonstress #christmasmiracle #christmasgift #medicalstaff #medicalfield #insurance #obamacare #thankful #wontbeerased #transisbeautiful #momentsintransition #oneofthem

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Heart attacks occurred at more than twice the rate among transwomen than women.

On the other hand, transmen – those assigned female sex at birth but had male gender identity and received hormones – had a more than three-fold rise in heart-attack risk compared with women, said the study, published in the journal, Circulation.

“In the light of our results, we urge both physicians and transgender individuals to be aware of this increased cardiovascular risk,” said Nienke Nota, a researcher at the Amsterdam University Medical Center in the Netherlands. 

“It may be helpful to reduce the risk factors by stopping smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet and losing weight, if needed before starting therapy, and clinicians should continue to evaluate patients on an ongoing basis thereafter,” suggested Nota.

For the study, the researchers included 3,875 individuals who had received hormone treatment – 2,517 transgender women received estrogen, with or without androgen-suppressors, and 1,358 transgender men received testosterone – as part of their transition.