The prevalence of androgen excess among patients with minimal unwanted hair growth

Irene Souter, Luis A. Sanchez, Marilda Perez, Alfred A. Bartolucci, Ricardo Azziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


The prevalence of androgen excess (AE) and the value of preemptive endocrine evaluation in women with minimal unwanted hair growth are unclear. A total of 228 patients presented with minimal unwanted hair growth and a mF-G score of 5 or less. Total and free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, 17-hydroxy-progesterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, and basal insulin and glucose levels were measured. Of the patients, 54% demonstrated an AE disorder (50%: polycystic ovary syndrome, 2%: hyperandrogenic insulin-resistant acanthosis nigricans syndrome, 2%: nonclassic adrenal hyperplasia), 29% isolated oligoovulation, 6% isolated hyperandrogenemia, and 10% had a normal evaluation. Of the patients with menstrual irregularities, 65% had an underlying AE disorder compared with 22% of those with normal menstrual function (P <. 001). Of eumenorrheic patients, 11% had oligo-ovulation and an AE disorder. Patients with minimal unwanted hair growth should be evaluated endocrinologically because approximately 50% of subjects demonstrate an AE disorder. Eumenorrhea does not preclude an underlying AE disorder, and ovulatory function should be assessed in these women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1914-1920
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2004



  • Androgens
  • Hair growth
  • Hirsutism
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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