Understanding the effects of long-term hormone therapy in transgender individuals being provided care at Boston Medical Center Endocrinology Clinic: a quality assurance project
Bonzagni, Anthony Francis
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Introduction: The risk factors involved in treating transgender individuals with hormone therapy have been documented, but a full understanding of them remains elusive. Much of the research performed in transgender medicine is old or being completed overseas. It is thus the responsibility of current providers and investigators to expand our current knowledge, so this often marginalized population can receive the best quality care. Methods: A group of 28 transgender men and women who received care from the Endocrinology Clinic at Boston Medical Center were randomly selected as part of a quality control project to evaluate the risk factors involved in hormone therapy. Analysis was two-fold. First, change in lab values associated with known risk factors over a two-year period were assessed in individual patients. Second, group analysis sought to correlate changing hormone levels with lab values associated with known risk factors. Results: The result of the analysis was the majority of the patients who were observed did not suffer from any of the risk factors commonly associated with hormone therapy, and if anything benefited from the consistent clinical care. Several correlations were calculated between hormone levels and the lab values associated with the risk factors, however further analysis must be completed to confirm any connection. Discussion: The goal of this project was to not only evaluate care at Boston Medical Center, but also to draw attention to transgender health. In doing so, we have given an example of safe and effective hormone therapy and shown additional avenues for future research.