Hirsutism epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ogheneochuko Ajari, MB.BS, MS [2], Rasam Hajiannasab M.D.[3], Ahmed Elsaiey, MBBCH [4]


Hirsutism only affects women, since the rising of androgens causes a male pattern of body hair, particularly in locations where women normally do not develop terminal hair within their puberty (chest, abdomen, back and face). The medical term for excessive hair growth that affect both men and women is hypertrichosis.

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • In the United States, the prevalence of hirsutism is about 10,000 per 100,000 individual.[1][2]
  • In the United States, there are at least 4 million premenopausal women who suffer from hirsutism.[3]


  • Hirsutism is more prevalent in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, European, and South Asian races.[4]
  • Hirsutism usually affects Hispanic women with polycystic ovarian cysts more than the non-Hispanic women.[5]
  • There is no difference in the prevalence of hirsutism between the white and black races.[6][2]


  • Hirsutism is more prevalent in women, and it is mainly described as a phenomenon in women rather than men.
  • Early growth of hair in the pre-pubertal children is an indicator of precocious puberty and it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.



  1. Rosenfield, Robert L. (2005). "Hirsutism". New England Journal of Medicine. 353 (24): 2578–2588. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp033496. ISSN 0028-4793.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Knochenhauer ES, Key TJ, Kahsar-Miller M, Waggoner W, Boots LR, Azziz R (1998). "Prevalence of the polycystic ovary syndrome in unselected black and white women of the southeastern United States: a prospective study". J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 83 (9): 3078–82. doi:10.1210/jcem.83.9.5090. PMID 9745406.
  3. "The epidemiology of hirsutism in the general population and what causes it".
  4. Franks, Stephen (2012). "The investigation and management of hirsutism". Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 38 (3): 182–186. doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2011-100175. ISSN 1471-1893.
  5. Engmann L, Jin S, Sun F, Legro RS, Polotsky AJ, Hansen KR; et al. (2017). "Racial and ethnic differences in the polycystic ovary syndrome metabolic phenotype". Am J Obstet Gynecol. 216 (5): 493.e1–493.e13. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.01.003. PMC 5420474. PMID 28104402.
  6. DeUgarte CM, Woods KS, Bartolucci AA, Azziz R (2006). "Degree of facial and body terminal hair growth in unselected black and white women: toward a populational definition of hirsutism". J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 91 (4): 1345–50. doi:10.1210/jc.2004-2301. PMID 16449347.

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