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Transgender suicide deaths 3.5 times higher than general population, landmark study shows

Transgender people in Denmark died by suicide and other causes at a younger age on average than other people.

Published: June 27, 2023 4:06pm

Transgender people are at a significantly higher risk of suicide than the general population, according to a Danish study published Tuesday involving more than 6.6 million people over more than four decades.

Transgender people in Denmark had a 3.5 times higher suicide death rate and a 7.7 times higher suicide attempt rate compared to the rest of the population, the study published by the JAMA Network showed.

Of the more than 6.6 million Danish-born people, 0.06% identified as transgender with a median coming out age of 22.

The study, which The New York Times reports is the first in the world to look at national suicide data for transgender individuals, also found that transgender people in Denmark died by suicide and other causes at a younger age on average than other people, the study found. 

Denmark has a centralized database of all citizens, allowing researchers to conduct massive studies that cannot be done in countries such as the United States.

The study does not focus on the suicide rates of self-identified transgender people or on those before and after transition, but only on people who have been identified as transgender through administrative registers. 

Of the nearly 3,800 transgender people in the study, more than 40% had a psychiatric diagnosis compared to 7% of the general population. 

The median age at which transgender people in Denmark first attempted suicide was 27, compared to the median age of the general population at 36. Of the transgender individuals who died by suicide, their median age was 45, while it was 52 for the rest of the country. 

Additionally, the study found that the median age of non-suicide death for transgender people in Denmark was 70, which is eight years younger than the median age of death in the general populace. 

The results of the study come even as Denmark is considered to be one of the best countries in the world for LGBT people.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.