top of page

All-cause and suicide mortalities among adolescents and young adults who contacted specialised gender identity services in Finland in 1996–2019: a register study

Par l'équipe du Pr Riitakerttu Kaltiala, Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere University Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere, Finland

Février 2024


Background All-cause and suicide mortalities of gender-referred adolescents compared with matched controls have not been studied, and particularly the role of psychiatric morbidity in mortality is unknown.

Objective To examine all-cause and suicide mortalities in gender-referred adolescents and the impact of psychiatric morbidity on mortality.

Methods Finnish nationwide cohort of all <23 year-old gender-referred adolescents in 1996–2019 (n=2083) and 16 643 matched controls. Cox regression models with HRs and 95% CIs were used to analyse all-cause and suicide mortalities.

Findings Of the 55 deaths in the study population, 20 (36%) were suicides. In bivariate analyses, all-cause mortality did not statistically significantly differ between gender-referred adolescents and controls (0.5% vs 0.3%); however, the proportion of suicides was higher in the gender-referred group (0.3% vs 0.1%). The all-cause mortality rate among gender-referred adolescents (controls) was 0.81 per 1000 person-years (0.40 per 1000 person-years), and the suicide mortality rate was 0.51 per 1000 person-years (0.12 per 1000 person-years). However, when specialist-level psychiatric treatment was controlled for, neither all-cause nor suicide mortality differed between the two groups: HR for all-cause mortality among gender-referred adolescents was 1.0 (95% CI 0.5 to 2.0) and for suicide mortality was 1.8 (95% CI 0.6 to 4.8).

Conclusions Clinical gender dysphoria does not appear to be predictive of all-cause nor suicide mortality when psychiatric treatment history is accounted for.

Clinical implications It is of utmost importance to identify and appropriately treat mental disorders in adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria to prevent suicide.


bottom of page