Scientific Statement

Endocrine Health and Health Care Disparities in the Pediatric and Sexual and Gender Minority Populations

May 16, 2023

Full Statement: Endocrine Health and Health Care Disparities in the Pediatric and Sexual and Gender Minority Populations: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2023
Alicia M. Diaz-Thomas, Sherita Hill Golden, Dana M. Dabelea, Adda Grimberg, Sheela N. Magge, Joshua D. Safer, Daniel E. Shumer, and Fatima Cody Stanford


Endocrine care of pediatric and adult patients continues to be plagued by health and health care disparities that are perpetuated by the basic structures of our health systems and research modalities, as well as policies that impact access to care and social determinants of health. This scientific statement expands the Society’s 2012 statement by focusing on endocrine disease disparities in the pediatric population and sexual and gender minority populations. These include pediatric and adult lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) persons. The writing group focused on highly prevalent conditions—growth disorders, puberty, metabolic bone disease, type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetes mellitus, prediabetes, and obesity. Several important findings emerged. Compared with females and non-White children, non-Hispanic White males are more likely to come to medical attention for short stature. Racially and ethnically diverse populations and males are underrepresented in studies of pubertal development and attainment of peak bone mass, with current norms based on European populations. Like adults, racial and ethnic minority youth suffer a higher burden of disease from obesity, T1D and T2D, and have less access to diabetes treatment technologies and bariatric surgery. LGBTQIA youth and adults also face discrimination and multiple barriers to endocrine care due to pathologizing sexual orientation and gender identity, lack of culturally competent care providers, and policies. Multilevel interventions to address these disparities are required. Inclusion of racial, ethnic, and LGBTQIA populations in longitudinal life course studies is needed to assess growth, puberty, and attainment of peak bone mass. Growth and development charts may need to be adapted to non-European populations. In addition, extension of these studies will be required to understand the clinical and physiologic consequences of interventions to address abnormal development in these populations. Health policies should be recrafted to remove barriers in care for children with obesity and/or diabetes and for LGBTQIA children and adults to facilitate comprehensive access to care, therapeutics, and technological advances. Public health interventions encompassing collection of accurate demographic and social needs data, including the intersection of social determinants of health with health outcomes, and enactment of population health level interventions will be essential tools.

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About Scientific Statements

Scientific Statements educate basic scientists, clinical scientists, and clinicians on the scientific basis of disease and on how this knowledge can be applied in clinical practice. These publications provide an evidence-based overview of basic and clinical science topics and identify areas that require additional research. Topics are selected on the basis of their emerging scientific impact on disease and their clinical relevance to the general population. Scientific Statements are developed by a multidisciplinary Task Force of experts with representation from several committees within the Endocrine Society.


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