International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-13

Modified Ferriman–Gallwey score in hirsutism and its association with metabolic syndrome

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Sabeena Jayapalan
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_93_16

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Background: Hirsutism is the presence of terminal hair in females in males pattern. It occurs in 5%–15% of women. Modified Ferriman–Gallwey (mFG) score of ≥ 8 is considered hirsutism, but there are populations with a low mFG score. In clinical practice, hirsutism is subjective. Although hirsutism is considered as a purely esthetic problem, it is associated with many underlying disorders, especially androgen excess disorders. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) disease is the most common cause of androgen excess in females, and there are reports of its association with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome occurs alone in hirsutism. Aims: To assess mFG score in patients who consider themselves as hirsute. To study the association between metabolic syndrome and hirsutism. Methods: Hospital-based cross-sectional study design was adopted. A structured questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic and clinical data. The severity of hirsutism was assessed using mFG score and metabolic syndrome was diagnosed by the American Heart Association criteria. mFG score was expressed as mean and Student's t-test and Chi-square statistic were used as the tests of significance. Logistic regression analysis was performed. Results: The mean mFG score was 5.5. Metabolic syndrome was present in 44%. About 65.2% of patients with score ≥8 had metabolic syndrome, whereas only 37.7% of patients with score <8 had metabolic syndrome (P = 0.019). Metabolic syndrome (P = 0.018) and PCOS (P = 0.003) were the significant variables in logistic regression analysis. Triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dl and waist circumference ≥88 cm were the components of metabolic syndrome that were significantly associated with hirsutism (P = 0.006 in both). Conclusions: To find the ideal cutoff of mFG score to define hirsutism in our population, a population study among females in the reproductive age group has to be conducted. As there is a definite association of hirsutism and metabolic syndrome, and metabolic syndrome can result in cardiovascular complications, any women presenting with terminal hair in a male pattern should be evaluated for metabolic syndrome irrespective of the mFG score.

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