Endocrine Society’s New Scientific Statement Identifies Research Gaps in Pediatric, LGBTQIA Care

In a new Scientific Statement released today, the Endocrine Society identifies areas for future endocrine research to reduce health disparities in pediatric and sexual and gender minoritized populations. 

This Scientific Statement expands the Society’s 2012 statement by focusing on endocrine disease disparities in the pediatric and sexual and gender minoritized populations. These include pediatric and adult lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) people. The writing group focused on prevalent conditions such as growth disorders, puberty disorders, bone conditions, diabetes, and obesity. 
 
“I am thrilled to see the Endocrine Society’s commitment to equitable health care with this broadened Scientific Statement,” says first author Alicia M. Diaz-Thomas, MD, MPH, pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tenn.  

“The findings and recommendations from the two scientific statements will enable us to ensure that our interventions to address endocrine health disparities are implemented across the life course.”

Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

“This statement provides a foundation on which to build and grow our training, research, clinical, and advocacy endeavors in the area of endocrine health disparities,” she adds. Diaz-Thomas serves as chair of the Society’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion. 

Important findings from the statement include: 

  • Non-Hispanic white male youth are more likely to seek treatment for short stature than females and non-white children. 
  • Racially and ethnically diverse populations and male youth are underrepresented in puberty and bone mass studies. 
  • Racial and ethnic minoritized youth suffer a higher burden of disease from obesity and diabetes and have less access to diabetes technology and bariatric surgery. 
  • LGBTQIA youth and adults face discrimination and barriers to endocrine care due to bias in the healthcare system and policies limiting access to gender-affirming and gender expansive care. 

Solutions from the statement are: 
  

  • Including more racial and ethnically diverse and LGBTQIA patients in clinical trials and clinical research studies related to growth, puberty and bone health. 
  • Adopting policies that remove barriers to care for children with obesity and/or diabetes, and for LGBTQIA children and adults. 
  • Ensuring public health interventions include accurate population-level demographic and social needs data. 
  • Addressing the lack of diversity in the endocrine workforce.  
      

“As an adult endocrinologist, I am grateful to have been able to collaborate with leaders in pediatric endocrinology in the development of this statement. Adult endocrinologists often see the consequences of disorders that originated during childhood,” says co-first author Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. “The findings and recommendations from the two scientific statements will enable us to ensure that our interventions to address endocrine health disparities are implemented across the life course.” 
 
The Society’s Eradicating Racism: An Endocrine Society Policy Perspective is another helpful resource on health disparities that includes recommendations on diversifying the endocrine workforce. 

“This statement provides a foundation on which to build and grow our training, research, clinical, and advocacy endeavors in the area of endocrine health disparities.”

Alicia M. Diaz-Thomas, MD, MPH, pediatric endocrinologist, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tenn.  

The authors of the new statement are: Dana M. Dabelea of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo.; Adda Grimberg of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa.; Sheela N. Magge of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Joshua D. Safer of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, N.Y.; Daniel E. Shumer of the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Fatima Cody Stanford of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass.  

The Statement, “Endocrine Health and Health Care Disparities in the Pediatric and Sexual and Gender Minority Populations: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement,” was published online in the Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 

The Endocrine Society develops Scientific Statements to explore the scientific basis of hormone-related conditions and disease, discuss how this knowledge can be applied in practice, and identify areas that require additional research. Topics are selected on the basis of their emerging scientific impact. Scientific Statements are developed by a Task Force of experts appointed by the Endocrine Society, with internal review by the relevant Society committees and expert external reviewers prior to a comment period open to all members of the Society. 

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