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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 1538-1543

High levels of non-communicable diseases risk factors among transgenders in Puducherry, South India

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Subitha Lakshminarayanan
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry - 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1128_19

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Context: Identification and documentation of risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among an 'invisible community' like the transgenders (TGs) will throw light on the prevailing health status of one of the most marginalized populations in India, thereby paving way for initiating measures that would cater to their healthcare needs. Aims: To estimate prevalence of risk factors for NCDs among TGs registered in a community-based organization in Puducherry. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study among adult (≥18 years) TGs in a community-based organization in Puducherry. Methods and Material: Data on sociodemographic details, selected risk factors of NCDs—alcohol use, tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, unhealthy diet, hypertension, and self-reported diabetes mellitus (DM) were collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire. Dependence levels on tobacco and/or alcohol were obtained using “Fagerstrom Addiction Scale” and “Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test” scales, respectively. Statistical Analysis Used: Data were single entered using EpiData and analyzed using EpiData Analysis. Results: Of the 200 TGs included in the study, mean (SD) age was 30 (8.8) years. Around 47% belonged to upper-lower socioeconomic class. About 90% of the participants had unhealthy dietary practice, 84% were physically inactive, 41% had high waist hip ratio, 36% were obese, 16% had high blood pressure, and 8% had self-reported DM. Prevalence of tobacco use was 43.5% with high nicotine dependence noted in 29% (23/79) of smokeless tobacco users and 12% (2/17) of smokers. Alcohol use was reported among 64.5% of which one fifth had possible dependence. Conclusion: Prevalence of selected risk factors for NCDs was high among TGs when compared to general population in Puducherry, which warrants targeted health interventions and priority in policy planning.

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