Suicide, Homicide, and All-Cause Mortality Among Transgender and Cisgender Patients in the Veterans Health Administration

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Purpose: This study examines the differences in suicide, homicide, and all-cause mortality between transgender and cisgender Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients. Methods: VHA electronic medical record data from October 1, 1999 to December 31, 2016 were used to create a sample of transgender and cisgender patients (n = 32,441). Cox proportional hazard regression was used to evaluate differences in survival time (date of birth to death date/study end). Death data were from the National Death Index. Results: Transgender patients had more than twofold greater hazard of suicide than cisgender patients (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 2.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.88-4.09), especially among younger (18-39 years) (aHR = 3.35, 95% CI = 1.30-8.60) and older (‡65 years) patients (aHR = 9.48, 95% CI = 3.88-23.19). Alternatively, transgender patients had an overall lower hazard of all-cause mortality (aHR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.84-0.97) compared with cisgender patients, which was driven by patients 40-64 years old (aHR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.72-0.86) and reversed by those 65 years and older (aHR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.03-1.33). Conclusion: Transgender patients' hazard of suicide mortality was significantly greater than that of cisgender VHA patients.