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Non-HIV Chronic Disease Burden among Transgender Populations Globally: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis


Rich, Ashleigh J.; Scheim, Ayden; Koehoorn, Mieke; & Poteat, Tonia (2020). Non-HIV Chronic Disease Burden among Transgender Populations Globally: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis. Preventive Medicine Reports, 20, 101259. PMCID: PMC7732872


Chronic disease is a growing concern for research, policy and clinical care. While the global burden of HIV for transgender populations has been comprehensively covered in recent systematic reviews, the same is not true for the burden of other chronic disease. The objective of this study was to review the literature on non-HIV chronic disease burden for transgender populations worldwide. A systematic review was conducted of Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO and LGBT Life bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed scientific studies with non-HIV chronic disease prevalence data for transgender populations published any date up to February 15, 2019 without restriction on country or study design. A total of 93 studies and 665 datapoints were included in this review, comprising 48 distinct chronic disease outcomes in seven groups (cancer, cerebro/cardiovascular conditions, chronic liver and kidney disease, mental health and substance use conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders, musculoskeletal and brain disorders, respiratory conditions, and unspecified and other conditions). The empirical literature on chronic disease among global transgender populations focuses on mental health morbidity, demonstrating an evidence gap on chronic physical health morbidity, particularly beyond that of sexual health. This review identified important gaps including in age-related conditions, inflammation-related disease and studies designed explicitly to investigate chronic disease burden among transgender populations. There is a need for high quality evidence in this area, including longitudinal population-based studies with appropriate comparison groups, and consistent measurement of both transgender status and chronic conditions.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Preventive Medicine Reports


Rich, Ashleigh J.
Scheim, Ayden
Koehoorn, Mieke
Poteat, Tonia