Metabolic effects of hormone therapy in transgender patients

John David Fernandez, Lisa R. Tannock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Objective: Transgender patients may seek hormone therapy to induce physical changes to simulate their expressed or experienced gender. However, many providers are uncomfortable prescribing transgender hormones due to fears over safety. The goal of this study was to determine if transgender hormone therapy with estrogen and spironolactone for male-to-female (MtF) patients or with testosterone for female-to-male (FtM) patients had adverse anthropomorphic or metabolic effects. Methods: This retrospective chart review study analyzed changes over time for 33 MtF and 19 FtM endocrine clinic patients at an academic endocrine practice with follow-up for up to 18 months after hormone initiation. Results: Compared to baseline labs obtained prior to the initiation of hormone therapy, significant changes for the MtF cohort included an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and decrease in creatinine; however, triglycerides did not show a statistically significant change. In the FtM cohort, there were significant increases in body mass index, creatinine, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Although statistically significant, these changes were minimal for both cohorts. Conclusion: In our practice, hormone therapy was found to be safe in this retrospective study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project described was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, through Grant UL1TR000117.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 AACE.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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