Serum androgens and depression in women with facial hirsutism

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992 Aug;27(2 Pt 1):178-81. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(92)70166-d.


Background: Studies on the psychopathologic aspects of hirsutism are sparse. Attempts to correlate these aspects with either the extent of the facial hirsutism and/or circulating serum androgens are virtually nonexistent. This study evaluates the psychopathologic aspects of hirsutism and correlates these findings with the extent of the facial hirsutism as well as with the circulating serum androgens.

Objective: Our purpose was to assess the psychopathologic aspects of facial hirsutism and to determine whether any correlation exists between these findings and either the extent of the facial hirsutism or the circulating serum androgens.

Methods: Twenty consecutive women with facial hirsutism were studied by administration of psychologic tests (DeRogatis Symptom Inventory and the Affects Balance Scale). The results of these tests were correlated with the grade of facial hirsutism as well as serum levels of total testosterone (T), biologically active testosterone (BT), free testosterone (FT), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), and androstenedione (A-dione).

Results: Significant levels of depression were found. No correlation was found between the psychopathologic measurements and the extent of facial hirsutism or serum levels of T, DHEA, DHEA-S, and A-dione. Significant correlations were found between depression and serum levels of FT and BT.

Conclusion: There is an increased incidence of depression in facially hirsute women and this correlates with their circulating active testosterone levels and not with the extent of their facial hirsutism.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Androstenedione / blood
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Hirsutism / blood*
  • Hirsutism / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychological Tests
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Androgens
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone