Excessive hair growth on a woman’s chin and abdomen can safely tell the doctor whether she has excess of male hormone.
“We wanted to find a way to identify this problem in women that was as non-intrusive and accurate as possible,” said study author Ricardo Azziz, reproductive endocrinologist at Georgia Health Sciences University.
“We believe this approach is approximately 80 percent accurate and will be less traumatic for women in many situations than the full body assessments currently used,” said Azziz, reports the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Besides, women with excessive hair growth, or hirsutism, are often overweight with menstrual dysfunction and diminished fertility related to problems with ovulation, according to a Georgia University statement.
“If you do the math, at least half the women with excess hair growth will be at increased risk for insulin resistance, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes and heart disease. That is why this is such an important marker,” Azziz said.
“Excessive hair growth strikes at the femininity of women. We are talking about terminal hairs that are harder, more pigmented and thicker than the usual soft hairs you see.”
Azziz examined 1,116 female patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1987-2002 and 835 female patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles from 2003-09 with symptoms of androgen excess.