Prevalence of non communicable disease risk factors among male to female transgenders: a cross sectional study

Vaishnavi Venkat Shenoy, P. Vaishnavi, Thulasi Rajan, Cowshik Eswaran, Sudharshini Subramaniam


Background: Non communicable diseases are responsible for a high proportion of deaths and disabilities. The major risk factors attributed to this are smoking, heavy alcohol drinking, inadequate fruit, and vegetable consumptions, and physical inactivity. While there are data available to understand the prevalence of non-communicable risk factors among men and women, there is no data among transgender community. Hence this study was conducted to assess the prevalence of NCD risk factors among the male-to-female transgender community.

Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted among 54 transwomen who had been registered with two social welfare organizations for transgender community in Chennai. The risk factor was assessed using WHO STEPS instrument.

Results: Among the transwomen, 16.7% were currently smoking tobacco, while 18.5% were using smokeless forms of tobacco. Alcohol consumption was observed in 44.4% of the population. 62.9% of them were not involved in any kind of exerting physical activity for recreation. 25.9% had undergone hormone supplementation for gender affirmation. Prevalence of obesity was 20.4% in the study population. The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia was 11.1%, 5.6% and 7.4% respectively.

Conclusions: High Prevalence of certain risk factors such as smokeless tobacco usage, alcohol consumption and hormone supplementation were seen among the male-to-female transgender community compared to the general population. Targeted interventions must be made so that specific attention is given to the transgender community in various NCD programs by the government. They must also be supported and accepted by every member of this society.


NCD risk factors, Transgender, Transwomen

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