Background and aim: Hirsutism is a common clinical problem among women; however estimates regarding its prevalence in our population are limited. The objective of this study was to estimate the frequency and features of hirsutism in yound women in Iran.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive-cross sectional study was performed on 800 female (18-25 years) medical students of Tehran medical universities in 1999. Evaluation included a history and a modified Ferriman-Gallwey hirsutism score in four different androgen-sensitive skin areas. The volunteers recorded their weight and height, the presence of menstural dysfuncion, acne, positive family history for hirsutism, as well as ingestion of oral contraceptive pills, corticosteroids or anabolic steroids using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using chi-square test and P<0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The frequency of hirsutism in our population was 22.8% (183 of 800). 17.3%, 5.1% and 0.3% of the population studied had mild, moderate and severe hirsutism, respectively. The prevalence of obesity (body mass index > 25), acne, positive family history for hirsutism, menstrual dysfunction, and consumption of corticosteroid and OCP was significantly higher in hirsutes.
Conclusion: Hirsutism is a very common abnormality in this group of woman in Iran. Higher hirsutism frequency in this survey comparing to previous records in other population shows that the hirsutism definition and scoring system should be modified due to racial/ethnic variations in terminal hair quantity and distributions and different concept of this abnormality in each population.