A study found that transgender and gender-diverse people who get masculinizing hormone treatment have 2.5 times more cases of androgenetic alopecia than cisgender women.
Julia L. Gao, MD, of The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health in Boston, and her colleagues wrote, “Because hair is often an important part of expressing gender and is known to affect psychosocial health, hair loss may be especially troubling for transgender and gender-diverse patients.”
This retrospective cohort study looked at the rate of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) among transgender and gender-diverse patients versus straight patients. It did this by looking at the health records of 37,826 patients.
Of the reviewed people, 1,098 were getting feminizing gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), 1,137 were getting masculinizing GAHT, 13,305 were cisgender women, and 21,279 were cisgender men.
Results showed that transgender and gender-diverse patients who got masculinizing GAHT had a higher rate of AGA than cisgender women (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] = 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.73–3.65) and cisgender men (aIRR = 1.3; 95% CI: 0.91–1.86).
Transgender and gender-diverse people who were getting masculinizing GAHT also had a higher rate of AGA than transgender and gender-diverse people who weren’t getting GAHT and were assigned female sex at birth (aIRR = 4.46; 95% CI, 1.45–12.73) or male sex at birth (aIRR = 2.61; 95% CI, 1.16–5.87).
Transgender and gender-diverse people who got feminizing GAHT, on the other hand, did not have a significantly higher death rate than cisgender guys. In fact, this group’s AGA got better, but the experts say this is just anecdotal information for now.
“AGA can be upsetting for many patients and have big effects on their health, especially for people who don’t identify as male or female,” Dr. Gao said. “(Transgender and gender-diverse) patients who start masculinizing GAHT should be told about the increased risk of AGA.”