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Transgender women on HT have lower bone density, more fat mass than men



In a subgroup of 46 participants, Dr. Fighera and her colleagues also examined change over time for transgender women who remained on hormone therapy. Though they did find that appendicular lean mass declined and total fat mass increased from baseline, these changes in body composition were not associated with significant decreases in any BMD measurement when the DXA scan was repeated at 31 months.

Participants’ mean age was 33.7 years, and the mean BMI was 25.4 kg/m2. One-third of participants had already undergone gender-affirming surgery , and most (86.6%) had some previous exposure to hormone therapy. Almost all (96%) of study participants were white.

At 18%, “the prevalence of low bone mass for age was fairly high in this sample of [transgender women] from southern Brazil,” said Dr. Fighera. She called for more work to track change over time in hormone therapy–related bone loss for transgender women. “Until then, monitoring of bone mass should be considered in this population; nonpharmacological lifestyle-related strategies for preventing bone loss may benefit transgender women” who receive long-term hormone therapy, she said.

None of the study authors had disclosures to report.

SOURCE: Fighera T et al. ENDO 2018, Abstract OR 25-5.

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