Endocrine Health and Health Care Disparities in the Pediatric and Sexual and Gender Minority Populations: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement

Alicia M. Diaz-Thomas, Sherita Hill Golden, Dana M. Dabelea, Adda Grimberg, Sheela N. Magge, Joshua D. Safer, Daniel E. Shumer, Fatima Cody Stanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Endocrine care of pediatric and adult patients continues to be plagued by health and health care disparities that are perpetuated by the basic structures of our health systems and research modalities, as well as policies that impact access to care and social determinants of health. This scientific statement expands the Society's 2012 statement by focusing on endocrine disease disparities in the pediatric population and sexual and gender minority populations. These include pediatric and adult lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) persons. The writing group focused on highly prevalent conditions - growth disorders, puberty, metabolic bone disease, type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetes mellitus, prediabetes, and obesity. Several important findings emerged. Compared with females and non-White children, non-Hispanic White males are more likely to come to medical attention for short stature. Racially and ethnically diverse populations and males are underrepresented in studies of pubertal development and attainment of peak bone mass, with current norms based on European populations. Like adults, racial and ethnic minority youth suffer a higher burden of disease from obesity, T1D and T2D, and have less access to diabetes treatment technologies and bariatric surgery. LGBTQIA youth and adults also face discrimination and multiple barriers to endocrine care due to pathologizing sexual orientation and gender identity, lack of culturally competent care providers, and policies. Multilevel interventions to address these disparities are required. Inclusion of racial, ethnic, and LGBTQIA populations in longitudinal life course studies is needed to assess growth, puberty, and attainment of peak bone mass. Growth and development charts may need to be adapted to non-European populations. In addition, extension of these studies will be required to understand the clinical and physiologic consequences of interventions to address abnormal development in these populations. Health policies should be recrafted to remove barriers in care for children with obesity and/or diabetes and for LGBTQIA children and adults to facilitate comprehensive access to care, therapeutics, and technological advances. Public health interventions encompassing collection of accurate demographic and social needs data, including the intersection of social determinants of health with health outcomes, and enactment of population health level interventions will be essential tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1584
Number of pages52
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume108
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • diabetes mellitus
  • growth
  • health care disparities
  • health disparities
  • health equity
  • obesity
  • pediatric endocrine
  • puberty
  • sexual and gender minority

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