Sex-related differences of clinical features in hidradenitis suppurativa: analysis of an Italian-based cohort

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2019 Jul;44(5):e177-e180. doi: 10.1111/ced.13861. Epub 2018 Dec 28.


The clinical characteristics associated with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) severity are poorly understood. In this study, 124 patients with HS from 6 Italian dermatology centres participated in this study. Disease severity was assessed using the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Physician's Global Assessment score (HS-PGA) and Hurley score. The impact of clinical characteristics on disease severity was assessed by logistic regression. Clinical characteristics were similar between men (n = 53) and women (n = 71). Disease severity was also similar; 75% of the patients had Hurley stage II or III disease, and > 60% had moderate, severe or very severe HS as judged by HS-PGA. Lesions were more frequent in the gluteal region in men (32.3% in men vs. 8.7% in women, P < 0.001) and more frequent on the breast in women (16.3% in women vs. 4.6% in men, P = 0.02). Obesity was associated with increased disease severity as measured by HS-PGA (OR: 3.28, 95% CI 1.55-6.95, P < 0.01) and Hurley classification (OR: 3.22, 95% CI 1.34-7.31, P < 0.01). Although severity of HS is similar between the sexes, the localization of lesions is different.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Axilla
  • Breast
  • Buttocks
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Groin
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / epidemiology
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult