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Serum androgen levels & its relationship to pattern and severity of hair growth in hirsute women presenting at private centre in Hyderabad


Objective To determine the frequency of serum androgen levels in hirsute women and theirrelationship to pattern and severity of hair growth in patients presenting at private cosmetic center at Hyderabad.
Patients and methods In this cross-sectional study, conducted in a private cosmetic and aesthetic centre, Hyderabad, from January, 2007 to December, 2007, 65 consecutive patients of hirsutism attending the centre were enrolled. Twenty normal women of similar ages (mean age 23.60'2.90 years) without signs of hirsutism and with normal menstrual cycle were also included as control group. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. The nature and consequences of study were explained to them. A proforma was structured including biodata,duration, pattern, and severity of hair growth. Other variables including weight, body mass index and acne, sebhorrhea were also evaluated. Serum testosterone, serum androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone levels were assessed in all these women. Thus results obtained were analysed for relationship between serum androgen levels and pattern and severity of hair growth. Chi-square test was applied to determine p-value.Results: A total of 65 patients were enrolled in study. Their ages ranged from 16 to 45 years(mean age 24.49'6.44 years). Thirty nine (60%) patients had normal androgen levels withoutevidence of significant endocrine abnormality. These were assigned idiopathic category. The next frequent group (n=26, 40%) comprised of patients who had modest elevations of serum androgens. Among them, 21 had polycystic ovaries. Patients having modest to greatly elevated androgen levels (serum testosterone) had severe hirsutism with Ferriman-Gallwe yscores (F-G score) 8. (p0.005). Patients with mild elevation of hormone levels had mild hirsutism with a F-G score of less than 8 (p0.005).

Conclusion There is correlation between serum androgen levels and severity of hair growth.Serum androgen levels are greatly raised in patients with modest to severe hirsutism.

Doulat Rai Bajaj, Abdul Razaque Memon, Tazeem Hussain, Bilal Fazal Shaikh

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