Sex change boosts heart disease risk

Female transsexuals (who are born as men) have a greater chance of dying of coronary heart and artery disease and strokes, researchers at the VU and Leiden university teaching hospitals told Friday’s Volkskrant.

The researchers followed 1,300 transexuals treated at the VU hospital between 1975 and 2004.
Male transsexuals, who are born as women, did not show a higher risk of developing heart disease.
The research indicates that giving female hormones to men is more dangerous than the other way round, the paper said.
VU professor Louis Gooren, who headed the research project, told the paper he was shocked by the results. Two earlier studies did not reveal any negative health effects because the follow-up period was not long enough, he said.
Endocrinologist Henk Asscheman told the paper the higher risk may be associated with the female hormone ethinylestradiol which the VU no longer prescribes.
But some transsexuals continue to take the hormone without hospital supervision, the paper says. The high proportion of smokers among transsexuals may be an added factor.

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