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Br J Dermatol. 2014 Oct;171(4):819-24. doi: 10.1111/bjd.13090. Epub 2014 Sep 7.

Risk factors, clinical course and long-term prognosis in hidradenitis suppurativa: a cross-sectional study.

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Department of Dermatology, Health Sciences Faculty, Roskilde Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) causes considerable morbidity. The long-term prognosis is of obvious interest to both patients and physicians. We conducted this study to determine the prognosis and risk factors in patients diagnosed with HS.


To describe the long-term prognosis and the clinical course of HS and its association to known risk factors.


A postal follow-up survey with uncomplicated factual questions was conducted. As all of the patients were well acquainted with their long-standing disease, this was thought to be sufficient for meaningful results. All cases were diagnosed by a dermatologist. Overall, 212 patients diagnosed with HS between 1981 and 2001 were studied after a median follow-up period of 22 years (range 12-32).


The overall response rate was 71.2%, with 60.8% (129/212) valid (fully completed) questionnaires. Remission was reported by 39.4% (50/127) and improvement by 31.5% (40/127). Unchanged severity was reported by 20.5% (26/127), and 8.7% (11/127) experienced worsening disease. Tobacco smoking was reported by 92.2% (119/129). Among nonsmokers, 40% (35/88) reported remission vs. 29% (17/59) of active smokers. A higher proportion of nonobese patients (45%) reported remission than obese patients (23%).


We found that 39.4% of the sample reported remission of HS. Suspected risk factors appeared to influence the prognosis. Smoking and obesity were significantly linked to a lower rate of self-reported remission. The notion that lifestyle factors play a role in HS appears to be supported by this survey.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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