Is Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus More Prevalent Than Expected in Transgender Patients? a Local Observation

Presentation Number: MON 619
Date of Presentation: April 3rd, 2017

Justine Defreyne*1, Guy G. T'Sjoen2, Bruno Lapauw3, Samyah Shadid4 and Dirk De Bacquer5
1Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 2Univ Hospital Ghent, Gent, Belgium, 3Ghent University Hospital, Gent, Belgium, 4Ghent University Hospital, Gent, BELGIUM, 5Ghent University, Gent, Belgium



In Belgium, exact data on prevalence and incidence rates of diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2 are scarce. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that approximately 0.4% of the Belgian population is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus, which is similar to other industrialized countries such as the Netherlands.

Studies investigating the prevalence of transgenderism estimate that 0.6-0.7% of all adults in Western populations is transgender, but this does not necessarily concord with those looking for gender affirming care.


To evaluate whether there is an association between type 1 diabetes mellitus and transgenderism in the local cohort.


Medical records of transgender patients were retrospectively analyzed in this study. To investigate whether the difference between the expected and observed numbers of transgender patients presenting with type 1 diabetes mellitus was significant, a Chi-Square statistic test ((Observed-Expected)²/Expected) was performed.


From January 1st 2007 until October 10th 2016, 1081 transgender patients presented at our service. Nine of these 1081 patients were previously diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus, one was previously diagnosed with latent auto-immune diabetes in adults (LADA). Of these patients, eight were trans women, two were trans men. The expected number of patients previously diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus and later on presenting for transgender care was 4.32 (1081 * 0.4%). The calculated Chi-Square statistic of 7.47 (P = 0.006) indicated that the higher prevalence in transgender patients was highly significant.(2.3 times higher)


Type 1 diabetes mellitus seems more prevalent in transgender patients than one would expect from population prevalences. This may be a spurious result, as a causal relationship seems unlikely, but our finding may encourage other centers to investigate this putative association.


Disclosure: GGT: Principal Investigator, Sandoz, Principal Investigator, Ipsen, Principal Investigator, Bayer Schering Pharma, Advisory Group Member, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Advisory Group Member, Ipsen, Speaker, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Speaker, Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Nothing to Disclose: JD, BL, SS, DD