Masculinising testosterone treatment and effects on preclinical cardiovascular disease, muscle strength and power, aggression, physical fitness and respiratory function in transgender men: Protocol for a 10-year, prospective, observational cohort study in Denmark at the Body Identity Clinic (BIC)

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Abstract

Introduction The number of individuals with gender dysphoria seeking gender-affirming treatment is increasing. The short-term and long-term effects of masculinising treatment with testosterone are debated as serum testosterone increases up to 20-fold compared with cisgender women. We will investigate short-term and long-term effects of masculinising testosterone treatment on preclinical and clinical coronary disease, muscle strength and power, oxygen consumption (VO2) max, cardiac and respiratory function and quality of life including aggression in transgender men. Methods and analyses Prospective, single-centre, observational cohort study at the Body Identity Clinic (BIC), Odense University Hospital, Denmark. Investigations are performed at inclusion and following 1, 3, 5 and 10 years of testosterone therapy. Non-calcified coronary plaque volume and calcium score are estimated by coronary CT angiography. CT is only performed at inclusion and following 1 and 10 years. Upper body muscle strength and power are measured by a 'low row' weight stack resisted exercise machine. Evaluation of aggression and quality of life is assessed by questionnaires, VO2 max is estimated by maximal testing on bike ergometer, and cardiac and respiratory functions are measured by echocardiography and spirometry, respectively. Markers of cardiovascular risk and inflammation and also cortisol and cortisone are assessed in blood, diurnal urine and/or hair samples. Our cohort (BIC), including dropouts, will be an embedded subcohort in a future national registry study in all individuals with gender dysphoria and controls. Data are available on International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10 th version diagnostic codes, prescriptions, socioeconomics and causes of death. Ethics and dissemination The Regional Committee on Health Research Ethics for Southern Denmark (S-20190108) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (19/27572) approved the study. Signed informed consent will be obtained from all participants. All findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals or at scientific conferences. Trial registration number NCT04254354.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere045714
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)8
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29. Dec 2020

Keywords

  • coronary heart disease
  • general endocrinology
  • sex steroids & HRT

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