May 082014
 

CC BY 2.0) - flickr user stevendepoloA little belated, but here’s the GSM health news that came out around April this year, in no particular order…

  • There was a new meta analysis of intestinal vaginoplasties published in April. This meta analysis overall found that rate and severity of complications was “low”, with stenosis the most common complication. There were no reports of cancer. Sexual satisfaction was high, but there were no quality of life measures reported. Quality of studies were reported to be low, though, and there was a distinct lack of use of standardized measures. Source.
  • Oncology Times released a review of cancer and cancer screenings in transgender people. Highly recommend you take a look at the source.
  • A study finds that trans men on testosterone have lower levels of anxiety, depression and anger than trans men not on testosterone. Source.
  • A review of current hormonal transition effects and aging determined that, based on current data, “Older [trans people] can commence cross-sex hormone treatment without disproportionate risks.” They note that monitoring for cardiovascular health is especially important for trans women, especially those who are on progesterones. Strength or type of hormones may need to be modified in order to minimize risk. Source.
  • As much of the sex positive community has known for a long time, the BMI of cis women is (in general) not correlated with sexual activity. Source.
  • In Croatian medical students knowledge about homosexuality was correlated with positive attitudes. Source.
  • Science is awesome! The Lancet reported success in engineering vaginas for 4 women with MRKHS. No complications over the 8 years of follow up, and satisfaction with sexual functioning. Fingers crossed that this technique can be used in the future for many more women! Source.
  • Remember that sexual orientation is not the same as behavior? In a recent analysis of previously collected data, 11.2% of heterosexual-identified sexually active (presumably cisgender) women reported ever having a same-sex partner. Another way of looking at it: 1 in 10 straight women have had sex with another woman. Source.
  • Don’t forget about aftercare and cuddling! Post-sex affection appears to be correlated with relationship satisfaction. Source.
  • Unsurprising but sad: Young LGB people are more likely to binge drink alcohol when they’ve been exposed to discrimination and homophobia. Source.

 

Apr 012014
 

CC - see linked URLBeen a busy month here. First, let’s have the news!

Transgender

  • A study has failed to find support for the theory that transgender people can be separated into different typologies based on sexual orientation. Source.
  • Gender dysphoria has been found to be correlated with autism/asperger’s and attention deficit disorder. Source.
  • Among trans people seeking care in the emergency department, 52% have at least one negative experience. 32% heard insulting language and 31% were told their provider didn’t know how to provide care. These statistics were gathered in London, Ontario. Source
  • Cross-sex hormones change cortical thickness in the brain. Source.
  • A meta analysis found that the type and dose of estrogen does not impact breast size for trans women. They also did not find an effect, positive or negative, for progestins. Source.
  • A panel lead by a former U.S. surgeon general has urged the US military to eliminate its ban on transgender service members. Source.

Sexuality

  • Pap smears may soon be replaced by HPV-only testing. Source.
  • 43% of young adult and teenaged men report having experienced sexual coercion. 95% of those were initiated by a woman. 18% of those incidents were physical force, 31% verbal, 26% via seduction, and 7% via drugs/alcohol. Tell me again how sexual violence is a woman’s problem. Source.
  • Shout Out Health posted their reminder of how you can find a gay-friendly health care provider

~~

On an administrative note, I’ll be attending a medical school in Connecticut come the Fall. I don’t know yet what that’ll mean for post frequency here at Open Minded Health, but be warned that things may shake up a little bit.

As always…  Stay healthy, stay safe, and have fun!

Jan 192011
 

The Journal of Homosexuality and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have worked together to produce a report on suicides in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trangender or transsexual) individuals. The report is a meta analysis, which means that it reviews and summarizes original research. It’s well known that LGBT people are at a higher risk for suicide attempts than heterosexual or cisgendered people.

LGB risk factors:

  • Suicidal ideation does not appear to be a stable predictor of suicide attempts.
  • Gay and bisexual men are at higher risk than lesbian and bisexual women.
  • Not enough is known about age or race/ethnicity to clearly state how these affect risk.
  • LGB people, as a whole, have higher rates of mental illnesses, especially mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse, than heterosexual people. Mental disorders are a huge risk factor for suicide. Non-heterosexual men more frequently have depression and panic disorders than heterosexual men; non-heterosexual women are dependent on substances more frequently than heterosexual women. Insecurity in sexual orientation increases the chances of mental illness.
  • Stress relating to homophobia increases suicide and mental illness risk. The report identifies two kinds of discrimination: individual (e.g., rejection, harassment, bullying) and institutional (e.g., no legal rights or protections). Both increase the risk for mental illness. Institutional discrimination can also lead to lack of health care for mental illness, which increases the risk of suicide.
  • HIV/AIDS, as a significant stressor, also increases the risk of both mental illness and suicide.

Factors that reduce the suicide risk for LGB people are not yet well known. For youth, family and other adult support and safe schools appear to be important; for adults, connection to the LGB community and positive sexual identity.

Information about transgender suicide risk is likewise unclear. It’s known that transgender people are at a higher risk for depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Rejection by parents and discrimination appear to be the most well-known risk factors. Transgender people also have very high rates of job discrimination (e.g., harassment, privacy invasion, use of the wrong gender pronouns, not being hired or promoted) and unemployment, and low levels of health insurance through their employers.

There is a lot of information missing here, clearly. Research needs to shift, and the authors acknowledge and address this. Specifically, the right questions (e.g., asking for gender identity on large-scale population studies) and the right studies (e.g., looking at the differences between specific subgroups) need to be done.

There is no information about how well suicide prevention strategies work with LGBT people.

For me, these other aspects within the report stood out:

  • LGBT people need access to high quality, evidence-based psychiatric care tailored to their needs that are accessible and affordable. The report notes that there were high levels of dissatisfaction with mental health services in the 1990s. I doubt that’s changed. And while it’s known that LGBT people acces more mental health services than the general population, the quality of those services cannot be ascertained.
  • Public policy must change to support and protect sexual minorities. Institutional discrimination must be banished. Now.
  • Researchers themselves need to be educated about LGBT issues so that current research efforts can be expanded to include LGBT people.

The report is available here. It also includes some statistics and a lot of good recommendations for public health and public policy.