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Int J Fertil Womens Med. 1997 Jul-Aug;42(4):255-60.

Estimated prevalence of undiagnosed glucose intolerance from hyperandrogenic anovulation among women requesting electrolysis.

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  • 1Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.



Hyperandrogenic anovulation is the principal risk factor for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in young women. Since many of these women undergo depilatory therapy, the purpose of this study was to estimate the probability of undiagnosed glucose intolerance associated with hyperandrogenic anovulation among premenopausal women requesting electrolysis.


Case-series study.


Women (N = 791) attending one of 27 electrology clinics in the United States, Canada and Germany received questionnaires requesting anthropometric data; personal information regarding age, surgery and medication use, and family histories of excess hair growth in female relatives and diabetes in parents or siblings.


Of 652 respondents less than age 50 years, 643 (98.6%) women had hirsutism, of whom 465 had regular menstrual cycles. One hundred seventy-eight (27.3%) women less than 50 years of age had hirsutism with irregular menses, and one-half of these women also were obese. Regardless of adiposity, one-third of hirsute women with menstrual irregularity knew the cause of their androgen excess, while the remaining two-thirds were unaware of the reason for their excess hair growth.


Assuming a 20% risk of glucose intolerance in obese hyperandrogenic anovulatory women by the fourth decade of life, the estimated prevalence of undiagnosed glucose intolerance from hyperandrogenic anovulation is 1.7% among women requesting electrolysis before age 50 years.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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