SAPPORO – One out of about 2,800 people in Sapporo is suffering from gender identity disorder, according to a survey compiled recently by a medical group in Hokkaido.
On a national scale, the ratio would translate into about 46,000 patients across Japan, which is more than 10 times the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s nationwide estimate of at least 4,000 GID patients in 2011.
Mikiya Nakatsuka, head of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, said the Hokkaido outcome is close to what he feels the real GID total should be.
“This is going to be important data when we discuss whether patients should get insurance coverage for treatments, such as gender reassignment surgery,” Nakatsuka said.
The result was based on data from 82 Sapporo natives who were diagnosed with GID by Sapporo Medical University Hospital between 2003 and 2012.
All were born between 1958 and 1994, but the highest number — seven — were born in 1985. So the medical group divided the number of people born in 1985 — 19,314 — by seven to produce the Sapporo figure of 2,759.
The group, led by Hokkaido Bunkyo University professor Hiroshi Ikeda, consisted of researchers from Sapporo Medical University and the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido.
“From the survey, we see that the actual number of those suffering from GID is many more than expected,” Ikeda said.