Bone health in adult trans persons: An update of the literature

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Purpose of review Hormonal treatment in trans persons can affect bone health. In this review, recent studies published on this topic in adults are discussed. Recent findings Before starting hormonal treatment, trans women were found to have lower bone mineral density than cis men, which seems to be related to lower vitamin D concentrations and lower lean body mass, whereas this was not found in trans men. Short-term and long-term studies show that hormonal treatment does not have detrimental effects on bone mineral density in trans women and trans men. Low estradiol concentrations were associated with a decrease in bone mineral density in trans women. Summary Based on the reassuring findings in these studies, regularly assessing bone mineral density during hormonal treatment does not seem necessary. This confirms the Endocrine Society Guideline stating that bone mineral density should be measured only when risk factors for osteoporosis exist, especially in people who stop hormonal treatment after gonadectomy. The relationship with estradiol concentrations indicate that hormone supplementation should be adequate and therapy compliance should be stimulated. As vitamin D deficiency frequently occurs, vitamin D supplementation should be considered. Future research should focus on fracture risk and long-term changes in bone geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-300
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • bone
  • gender dysphoria
  • sex steroids
  • trans persons

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