Poor Health and Lack of Access to Health Care Among Public Health Needs of U.S. Transgender People

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Thursday 8th June 2017
Summary: Transgender individuals are more likely than non-transgender individuals to report poor health and lack of health insurance coverage.


A new study by scholars at the Williams Institute found that compared with cisgender (i.e., non-transgender) individuals, transgender individuals had higher prevalence of poor general health and they had more days per month of poor physical and mental health. More transgender than cisgender people lacked health care coverage, a health care provider, and dental care.

"The findings support calls by policymakers and advocates to pay attention to the unique needs of transgender individuals," said Dr. Ilan H. Meyer, the study's lead author. "At this time, when a measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could remove health coverage from as many as 24 million people, the health needs of transgender people could be further threatened, increasing disparities in health coverage between cisgender and transgender Americans."

The study is the first to analyze health data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a nationally representative survey that includes questions to identify transgender individuals in 19 states and one U.S. territory. The paper, titled Demographic Characteristics and Health Status of Transgender Adults in Select U.S. Regions: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2014, is published in the American Journal of Public Health, and was written by Dr. Meyer with Taylor N.T. Brown and Dr. Jody L. Herman of the Williams Institute and Drs. Sari L. Reisner of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital and Walter O. Bockting from Columbia University Medical Center.

Among the study's findings are:

"This study is groundbreaking in that we use representative samples of transgender people to study health disparities," remarked study co-author Jody L. Herman. "However, we were limited to certain regions of the U.S. because states are not required to ask questions about gender identity in the BRFSS." The Williams Institute has recommended that all federal surveys consistently include measures to identify sexual and gender minorities so that their needs can be assessed.

Findings were based on the 2014 BRFSS, conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collects data from individuals via telephone interviews in each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and in U.S. territories. The BRFSS is the nation's premier system of health-related surveys that provides key information about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.

Report: Demographic Characteristics and Health Status of Transgender Adults in Select US Regions: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2014 - http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303648


Similar Topics


From our Transgender News section - Full List (69 Items)

Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.


Diversity in the Television Sector


LGBT Community Connectedness Differences Between LGB Republicans and LGB Democrats


Black Men and Sexual Minority Men Overrepresented in U.S. Among Commited Sex Offenders


Over Five Million LGBT Adults in the U.S. are Religious


Canada Reintroduces Legislation to Criminalize Conversion Therapy Related Conduct


No Difference in Health Outcomes for Transgender and Cisgender Parents


LGBT People 4 Times More Likely to be Victims of Violent Crime


Pathways Into Poverty for LGBTQ Adults Study



Tsara Shelton
"Storytellers are powerful and we are all storytellers," suggests Tsara Shelton, author of the book Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up..


LGBT Awareness & Events
List of important LGBT awareness dates and coming sexual diversity events.


Transgender Reporting Guide - English
Guide for those writing on transgender and LGBT community - Spanish Version.
Sexuality Definitions
List of definitions and glossary of sexual terms, abbreviations and their meanings.