AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A study out of UMass Amherst links gender-affirming care to a reduction in suicide among transgender youth.

The study found that Hormone Replacement Therapy was associated with a more than 14 percent drop in transgender youth attempting suicide between ages 14 to 17. This research comes after multiple states have created laws and proposed bills that restrict healthcare for transgender youth.

Researchers say that this study shows that these bills can produce harmful and even deadly consequences for this vulnerable community.

“The science is showing us that gender-affirming care can save lives,” says Nguyen, who is pursuing his doctorate in economics at UMass Amherst. “In line with existing scientific evidence, our research clearly indicates that restricting transgender youth’s access to HRT could produce harmful, even deadly, consequences,” Nguyen says. “This finding is especially pertinent given the recent surge in state-level GAC bans, many of which purposefully target transgender youth.”

“Statistically, the transgender population has one of the highest lifetime rates of attempted suicide in the U.S. We also observe in our data that the majority of first suicide attempts among transgender people occur during adolescence,” Nguyen says. “I think the dark reality is that there is an unknown number of transgender youth who could not access HRT during adolescence and took their own lives, thus never appearing in the data.”