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Healio: Transgender women outpace cisgender women in athletic tests after 1 year on hormones

By Michael Monostra

Pretreatment differences in athletic performance for transgender women in the U.S. Air Force vs. cisgender women continue more than 1 year after starting feminizing therapy, according to findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Transgender women retain an advantage in upper body strength (push-ups and sit-ups) over female controls for 1 to 2 years after starting gender-affirming hormones,” Timothy Roberts, MD, MPH, in the division of adolescent medicine at Children's Mercy Kansas City, Missouri, told Healio. “Transgender women retain an advantage in endurance (1.5-mile run) over female controls for over 2 years after starting gender-affirming hormones. Athletic performance among transgender men matches or exceeds athletic performance for male controls after 1 year on testosterone.”

Roberts and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of medical records and fitness tests for transgender men and women who filed a request to begin gender transition or continue testosterone or estrogen while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

“We need longer-term studies of the effect of testosterone suppression on athletic performance overall and in sport-specific activities (explosive strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness) to inform guidelines for transgender inclusion in sport,” Roberts said.


Read the full study via Healio

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