Largest study of transgender person health funded by PCORI

Comparative Risks and Benefits of Gender Reassignment Therapies | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

There are so many questions, some based on curiosity, some based on bias, some based on prejudice, about the provision of care for people who are transgender.

The result of these questions is that people who need medically necessary care don’t get it, often with devastating results. In fact, it can be argued that not providing this care is actually more costly to health care and to society than providing it. (see: Why I’m going to Capital TransPride this weekend | Ted Eytan, MD for a run down)

That’s why I am excited to read that this $2+ million study has been funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (@PCORI).

And … Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Southern California, and Georgia are going to be involved in the study, along with the Veterans Administration.

At the Center for Total Health (@kptotalhealth) we often talk about how the experience of our members over the past 70 years has helped medicine understand the best ways to care for people. This study comes from a place where we want to know how to help people who are trans be healthy, and that makes me happy :). Take a look:

This project is an electronic medical record based study evaluating a group of 6,500 transgender individuals, whose care is covered by the Veterans Administration (nationally) or by Kaiser Permanente (in Georgia and in Northern and Southern California). In this study, we will compare frequencies of various diseases and deaths from various causes in transgender persons and separately in those who request female-to-male and male-to-female sex change to similar measures in a sample of men and women who are not transgender and are of the same age and race. We will also compare health problems by treatment categories (e.g., no medical treatment, versus treatment with hormones only, versus hormones plus surgery). The proposed project will be carried out by a team that includes experts in chronic and infectious diseases, mental disorders, and sexual minority health issues. All of the project activities will be implemented in consultation with the study advisors who will serve as advocates for the transgender community. This will likely be the largest study of transgender persons available to date, and the first study of its kind conducted in the United States.

One more thing – although this study is going to produce valuable data, it is not going to change the determination made by the major medical professional organizations that not providing it is discrimination (see link above).


If the academics doing the research are still using terms like “sex change treatment” then they’ve got a great deal to learn about transgender people.

EqualityNevada …I didn’t notice that terminology in the announcement above, and I agree, I hope one of the outcomes is a better understanding of the transition process. In speaking in one of the investigators, I believe they’ll achieve it, with all of our help. Thanks for writing,

As a Veteran if I find out my records were used in this study or in anyway to promote the use of the word Transgender I will be going after the VA. I have made it clear to my VA provider and to the VA my wish not to be referred to as Transgender or to be associated with the LGBT. The use of the word Transgender is unethical and violates the patients right to self autonomy.


I’m not sure what you mean when you say “the use of the word transgender is unethical.” Can you explain?

Regarding the use of your (or any patient’s) records, I am not affiliated with the study. However I suggest contacting the representative to the human subjects research committee where your records are kept,


Ted Eytan, MD