Epidemiology, diagnosis and management of hirsutism: a consensus statement by the Androgen Excess and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Society. Hum Reprod Update 18(2):146-170, Epub 2011 Nov 6

Diabetes, Obesity and Human Reproduction Research Group, Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá & Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS & CIBER Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas CIBERDEM, 28034 Madrid, Spain.
Human Reproduction Update (Impact Factor: 10.17). 11/2011; 18(2):146-70. DOI: 10.1093/humupd/dmr042
Source: PubMed


Hirsutism, defined by the presence of excessive terminal hair in androgen-sensitive areas of the female body, is one of the most common disorders in women during reproductive age.
We conducted a systematic review and critical assessment of the available evidence pertaining to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of hirsutism.
The prevalence of hirsutism is ~10% in most populations, with the important exception of Far-East Asian women who present hirsutism less frequently. Although usually caused by relatively benign functional conditions, with the polycystic ovary syndrome leading the list of the most frequent etiologies, hirsutism may be the presenting symptom of a life-threatening tumor requiring immediate intervention.
Following evidence-based diagnostic and treatment strategies that address not only the amelioration of hirsutism but also the treatment of the underlying etiology is essential for the proper management of affected women, especially considering that hirsutism is, in most cases, a chronic disorder needing long-term follow-up. Accordingly, we provide evidence-based guidelines for the etiological diagnosis and for the management of this frequent medical complaint.

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Available from: Chandrika N Wijeyaratne, Dec 18, 2013
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    • "Metformin has insulin-lowering effects by improving insulin sensitivity and, in turn, can decrease circulating androgen levels. In addition, it also plays a critical role in the treatment of PCOS because women with PCOS are at an increased risk of insulin resistance [12]. Indeed, metformin improves insulin-mediated glucose disposal in women with PCOS [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Most women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and elevated serum IL-6 levels. These elevated IL-6 levels may have links with insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism. Metformin may have beneficial effects on the chronic low-grade inflammatory background associated with PCOS. Methods A systematic review was performed via PUBMED, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library on PCOS studies published through November 30, 2013. Studies were selected that evaluated the effect of metformin on IL-6 levels in PCOS patients. Studies not containing adequate diagnosis information about PCOS or not excluding of other causes of hyperandrogenism were excluded. Results Five studies met the inclusion criteria. Of these, one study reported a significant decrease in IL-6 levels after metformin treatment in women with PCOS. Two studies reported that treatment-related reductions in IL-6 levels were significantly correlated with insulin metabolism. In the remaining two studies, plasma IL-6 levels did not change following metformin treatment. Conclusions Serum IL-6 levels of PCOS patients may be influenced by metformin. Early application of metformin therapy may relieve chronic low-grade inflammation in women with PCOS. However, further investigations with larger samples are needed to better understand the effects of metformin on IL-6 levels and chronic inflammation in PCOS.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Women's Health
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    ABSTRACT: Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women is a major healthcare issue. Detection of premenopausal women with increased risk of CVD could enhance prevention strategies and reduce first event-related morbidity and mortality. In this study, we argue that an unfavorable metabolic constitution in women may present itself early in life as a reproductive complication, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and preeclampsia. We evaluated the cardiovascular risk of women with a history of early-onset preeclampsia and women with PCOS and assessed their need for implementation of early risk factor-reduction strategies. We performed a standardized evaluation of 240 women with a history of early-onset preeclampsia and 456 women diagnosed with PCOS for established major CVD risk factors. Metabolic syndrome characteristics were analyzed per body mass index category. Mean age was 30.6 and 29.0 years for women with preeclampsia and PCOS, respectively. High percentages of metabolic syndrome were found in both groups (preeclampsia group, 14.6%; and PCOS group, 18.4%), with an incidence of greater than 50% in both groups of women if body mass index was greater than 30 kg/m. Overall, more than 90% of the women qualified for either lifestyle or medical intervention according to the American Heart Association guideline for CVD prevention in women. Women with PCOS and early-onset preeclampsia already show an unfavorable cardiovascular risk profile with high need for lifestyle or medical intervention at a young age. We therefore recommend an active role of the gynecologist in routine screening and follow-up of women with reproductive conditions linked to future cardiovascular risk.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Menopause (New York, N.Y.)

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