Unmet Public Health Needs Among Transgender People in the U.S. Include Poor General Health and Lack of Access to Health Care

Transgender adults in the U.S. are more likely than cisgender adults to report poor health and lack of health insurance coverage, a new study co-authored by Williams Institute scholars finds.   Among the study’s other findings are:

  • Compared with cisgender people, transgender individuals had more days per month of poor physical and mental health and they were more likely to have had myocardial infarction.
  • Relative to cisgender individuals, a lower proportion of transgender people had a regular health care provider and dental care.
  • However, transgender individuals did not differ from cisgender individuals in other aspects of health that were studied, including chronic diseases, cancers, and depressive disorders; and in health behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, or always wearing a seatbelt.

The study is the first to analyze health data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 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. Ilan H. 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.

Read the press release.

Read the report.