May 4 (UPI) — Canadian researchers have found that transgender adults are at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide than others.
Suicidal thoughts and attempts are higher among transgender teens and young adults, though they are significantly higher for all transgender people across society, researchers in the new study report. The study was a collaboration between researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, the University of Saskatchewan and McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
“Suicidality and other forms of mental health distress are health disparities that increasingly are being documented and studied in the academic literature as disproportionately affecting transgender people and populations,” Dr. Robert Garofalo, a professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a press release.
The study used an analysis of 42 studies published over 19 years to find differences in rates of suicidal thoughts and attempts between male-to-female and female-to-male transgender respondents and gender non-conforming adults.
Overall, suicidal thoughts were higher in individuals who were male-to-female compared to female-to-male transgender, with the lowest rates among those who were gender non-conforming.
The Williams Institute of UCLA found that suicide attempts were highest among young adults age 18 to 24.
Researchers found that transgender adults were 14 times more likely to think about suicide and 22 times more likely to attempt suicide than rates in the general population.
The analysis of the studies showed that on average, 55 percent of respondents thought about suicide and 29 percent had attempted suicide in their lifetimes. The numbers changed to 51 percent thought about suicide and 11 percent had attempted suicide in the past year.
The study was published in Transgender Health.