Fracture risk in trans women and trans men using long-term gender-affirming hormonal treatment: a nationwide cohort study

Chantal M. Wiepjes, Christel J. M. de Blok, Annemieke S. Staphorsius, Nienke M. Nota, Mariska C. Vlot, Renate T. de Jongh, Martin den Heijer

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Concerns about bone health in transgender people using gender-affirming hormonal treatment (HT) exist, but the fracture risk is not known. In this nationwide cohort study, we aimed to compare the fracture incidence in transgender people using long-term HT with an age-matched reference population. All adult transgender people who started HT before 2016 at our gender-identity clinic were included and were linked to a random population-based sample of 5 age-matched reference men and 5 age-matched reference women per person. Fracture incidence was determined using diagnoses from visits to hospital emergency rooms nationwide between 2013 and 2015. A total of 1089 trans women aged <50 years (mean 38 ± 9 years) and 934 trans women aged ≥50 years (mean 60 ± 8 years) using HT for median 8 (interquartile range [IQR] 3–16) and 19 (IQR 11–29) years, respectively, were included. A total of 2.4% of the trans women aged <50 years had a fracture, whereas 3.0% of the age-matched reference men (odds ratio [OR] = 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51–1.19) and 1.6% of the age-matched reference women (OR = 1.49, 95% CI 0.96–2.32) experienced a fracture. In trans women aged ≥50 years, 4.4% experienced a fracture compared with 2.4% of the age-matched reference men (OR = 1.90, 95% CI 1.32–2.74) and 4.2% of the age-matched reference women (OR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.75–1.49). A total of 1036 trans men (40 ± 14 years) using HT for median 9 (IQR 2–22) years were included. Fractures occurred in 1.7% of the trans men, 3.0% of the age-matched reference men (OR = 0.57, 95% CI 0.35–0.94), and 2.2% of the age-matched reference women (OR = 0.79, 95% CI 0.48–1.30). In conclusion, fracture risk was higher in older trans women compared with age-matched reference men. In young trans women, fracture risk tended to be increased compared with age-matched reference women. Fracture risk was not increased in young trans men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of bone and mineral research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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