New research suggests transgender people who take hormones in their teenage years are less likely to suffer from mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse.
A study by the Stanford University School of Medicine compiled data from 27,715 candidates who responded in 2015, making it the largest ever survey of US transgender adults.
The results showed those who took hormones as teenagers had better mental health than those who started the drugs in adulthood.
Out of those who took part in the study 21,598 received the hormones they wanted. Out of these people, 119 began hormones at age 14 or 15; 362 at age 16 and 17 and 12,157 after they turned 18.
A total of 8,860 people involved in the research had never received hormone drugs and acted ad the control group.
Results showed the odds of suffering psychological distress was cut by 222 per cent who started hormone treatment in early adolescence, 153 per cent in late adolescence and 81 per cent in adulthood.
Suicidal thoughts from the previous year were reduced by 135 per cent, 62 per cent and 21 per cent in early adolescence, late adolescence and adulthood, respectively, compared with the control group.
Dr Jack Turban, lead author on the study and expert in paediatric and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford Medicine, said: “This study is particularly relevant now because many state legislatures are introducing bills that would outlaw this kind of care for transgender youth.
“We are adding to the evidence base that shows why gender-affirming care is beneficial from a mental health perspective.”
Hormone drugs can only be given to people in the UK from the age of 16 who have been on puberty blockers for at least 12 months.
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