In a study of 188 women conducted by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), 102 subjects with minimal excess hair growth had excessive levels of androgens, "male" hormones that normally exist in women in lesser amounts.
"We know that excess hair growth in the male pattern in women, which we call hirsutism, generally is a good indicator that there is an underlying hormone imbalance. Now this relatively large study shows that nearly 55 percent of women who have minimal unwanted hair growth have an androgen excess-related disorder, primarily the polycystic ovary syndrome," said Ricardo Azziz, MD, MPH, MBA, Chair of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of the Center for Androgen-Related Disorders, and Executive Director of the Androgen Excess Society, an international research organization.
Among all 188 women in the study complaining of minimal unwanted hair growth, 102 were found to have an underlying androgen excess disorder. Ninety-four of the 102 suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder characterized by numerous small cysts on the periphery of the ovaries. Women with PCOS often struggle with menstrual irregularities, skin problems, and excess weight and they are at increased risk of developing Type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Four of the study participants were diagnosed with non-classic adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH), an adrenal gland dysfunction that often leads to premature development of pubic hair, irregular menstrual periods, hirsutism and sev
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center