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1 in 2,800 of Sapporo residents struggle with gender identity disorder

in JAPAN, 13/05/2013

A recent study from a medical group in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, found that one out of roughly 2,800 people in the capital of Sapporo admitted to suffering from gender identity disorder. In 2011 the Japanese Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry estimated that there were a little over 4,000 people nationwide with GID, but the ratio from the Sapporo study translates to about 46,000 people across the country.

The head of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, Mikiya Nakatsuka, comments that he believes the outcome of the Hokkaido survey is closer to what the real total number of GID sufferers is in Japan. He adds that the significance of such data will come when the discussion turns to whether patients should have insurance coverage for treatments such as gender reassignment surgery.

The study was conducted by professor Hiroshi Ikeda of Hokkaido Bunkyo University, and also included researchers from Sapporo Medical University and the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido. In order to reach the number of one in 2,800, they found that the 82 Sapporo natives who were diagnosed with GID between 2003 and 2012 were all born between 1958 and 1994, with the highest concentration — seven people — born in 1985. With a total of 19,314 people from Sapporo born in 1985, they divided that by the seven to reach 2,759. Professor Ikeda says that the study definitely reveals that there are many more people in Japan with GID than first expected.

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