Suicide Studies

Transgender Americans face high suicide risk
New survey paints a portrait of trans people’s lives in the U.S.

by Clara Moskowitz

A staggering 41 percent of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide, according to a new survey. 

These statistics are just some of the sobering findings from a survey of more than 7,000 transgender people conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released in October 2010.

Other risks In addition to their higher risk of suicide, transgender people face steeper odds for other health issues. For example, the recent survey found that 2.64 percent of trans people are infected with HIV — that's more than four times the national average rate of 0.6 percent in the general population.

While many experts knew the situation was tough, results from the recent survey — the first one conducted on a large nationally representative sample of transgender people — were still surprising.

"I knew that the magnitude would be high, but I did not think the suicide attempt numbers would be that high," Knudson said. That 41 percent suicide rate among transgender people is more than 25 times the rate of the general population, which is 1.6 percent. And among trans people ages 18-44, the suicide attempt rate was 45 percent.

Source: Clara Moskowitz, “Transgender Americans face high suicide risk / New survey paints a portrait of trans people’s lives in the U.S.,” LiveScience, updated November 19, 2010, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40279043/ns/health-health_care/