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Trans-identifying people in Denmark had a suicide death rate 3.5 times higher and a suicide attempt rate 7.7 times higher than people who did not identify as transgender, according to the study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
There were 92 suicide attempts and 12 suicide deaths among the study’s 3,759 trans-identifying people between 1980 and 2021.
The study analyzed the medical and legal gender change records of nearly seven million people in Denmark, including the nearly 3,800 transgender people, over the last four decades.
Trans-identifying people also tended to die younger overall, whether by suicide or something else, the study found.
However, suicide rates in both groups decreased over the four decades the study examined.
“Results suggest that transgender individuals had significantly higher rates of suicide attempt, suicide mortality, suicide-unrelated mortality, and all-cause mortality compared with the nontransgender population,” the study said.
Meanwhile, the rate of psychiatric conditions was higher for the trans-identifying group.
Nearly 43% of the trans-identifying people had a psychiatric diagnosis, compared with just 7% of the non-trans-identifying group.
“This is beyond doubt a huge problem that needs to be looked at,” said one of the authors of the study, Dr. Morten Frisch, a sexual health epidemiologist at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen.
The study’s authors suggested that their findings might possibly apply to the U.S. as well since the U.S. and Denmark have similar suicide rates, about 14 suicides per 100,000 people.
However, the rate of people who identify as transgender could be as much as ten times higher in the U.S. than in Denmark, data from the Williams Institute at the University of California in Los Angeles suggests, although the Danish researchers also noted that they may not have captured newer waves of trans-identification that are more prevalent among younger populations.
Gender ideology activists in the U.S. often argue that trans-identifying people, especially youth, are at a higher risk of suicide if they are denied drastic medical interventions such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or gender surgeries such as double mastectomies and later genital surgeries.
However, Denmark is famously progressive on the transgender issue and rates as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world, even above the U.S.
The group of Danish trans-identifying people analyzed in the study were recognized as transgender in either their legal or medical records.
In 1989, Denmark became the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex partnerships. Denmark has allowed people to undergo sex change operations and receive hormone therapy since at least the early 1950s. Since 2014, Danish people 18 and older can legally change their gender simply by stating that they want to do so.
In the U.S., critics have sounded the alarm about the permanent effects of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender surgeries. Young people who previously identified as transgender have also spoken out about regretting getting medical intervention.
At least 17 states have moved to restrict hormone treatments and gender surgeries for children as more minors seek them out.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year, a sharp increase over the previous few years. From 2017 to 2021, gender dysphoria diagnoses in children nearly tripled.
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