Prevalence of hyperhidrosis among medical students

Rev Col Bras Cir. 2011 Nov-Dec;38(6):392-7. doi: 10.1590/s0100-69912011000600005.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Objective: To identify the prevalence of hyperhidrosis among medical students of Manaus, State of Amazonas, Brazil.

Methods: We conducted an observational, transversal, survey which examined the prevalence of primary hyperhidrosis among medical students of the Federal University of Amazonas and its relation to body mass index (BMI) and stress. Students were weighed and interviewed. We used questionnaires with questions recommended by the International Hyperhidrosis Society to relate hyperhidrosis to the daily activities of each person. Results were given by calculating the prevalence ratios and confidence intervals.

Results: Among the 293 students examined, it was found that a total of 16 (5.5%) students had barely tolerable or intolerable excessive sweating, interfering with daily activities. None had known causes of hyperhidrosis and 50% had family history. In all suffering from the condition the disease was bilateral, the mainly affected locations being: hands (35.7%), legs (21.4%), axilla (17.9), face (10 7%), back (7.1%), chest (3.6%) and abdomen (3.6%). There was no predominance regarding gender, age or BMI. We found a positive relationship with BMI and observed a prevalence ratio of 2.48 higher in overweight students than in normal weight or underweight ones.

Conclusion: The prevalence of primary hyperhidrosis among medical students of Manaus was 5.5%. There is a positive non-statistical relationship with overweight and obesity. It was further noted an observational relationship with stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult