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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 71, n° 6
pages 1144-1150 (décembre 2014)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.09.012
accepted : 4 September 2014
Original Articles

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a systemic disease with substantial comorbidity burden: A chart-verified case-control analysis

Julia Shlyankevich, MD a, b, c, Allison J. Chen, BA c, Grace E. Kim, BS a, b, d, Alexandra B. Kimball, MD, MPH a, b, d,
a Clinical Unit for Research Trials and Outcomes in Skin, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 
b Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 
c Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 
d Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 

Reprint requests: Alexandra B. Kimball, MD, MPH, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford St, Suite 240, Boston, MA 02114.

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory disease involving intertriginous skin. Previous epidemiologic studies have been limited by small sample size.


We sought to describe the prevalence and comorbidities of HS in a large patient care database.


In this retrospective case-control study, we chart-validated all patients within a hospital database who received at least 1 billing code for HS between 1980 and 2013. Verified cases were matched with controls based on age, gender, and race. Prevalences of a priori selected comorbidities were compared between HS and control groups.


A total of 2292 patients at Massachusetts General Hospital received at least 1 code for HS. A total of 1776 cases had a validated diagnosis of HS, yielding a prevalence of 0.08%. In unadjusted analysis, all comorbidities were diagnosed significantly more in HS compared with control including (in rank order of likelihood): smoking, arthropathies, dyslipidemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psychiatric disorders, obesity, drug dependence, hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, alcohol dependence, and lymphoma (all P < .01).


Control subjects were not validated for absence of HS and comorbidity validation was not performed for either group.


Our results highlights the high comorbidity burden of patients with HS compared with matched control subjects.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Key words : acne inversa, cardiovascular disease, comorbidities, hidradenitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, lymphoma, metabolic syndrome, obesity, prevalence

Abbreviations used : CI, HS, ICD-9 , OR, PCOS, RPDR, SCC

 Dr Shlyankevich has partial fellowship funding from Janssen.
 Disclosure: Dr Kimball has served as an investigator and consultant for Abbvie. Dr Shlyankevich has partial fellowship funding from Janssen. Ms Chen and Ms Kim have no conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2014  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@
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