Disclosures: Jfri reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
June 08, 2021
1 min read

Study sheds light on hidradenitis suppurativa prevalence

Disclosures: Jfri reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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The overall rate of hidradenitis suppurativa may be less than 0.5% of the general population, according to a meta-analysis.

However, the researchers urged caution in interpreting the findings due to heterogeneity in the methodology of the data sets included in the analysis.

Hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by occlusion of hair follicles as a primary pathogenic factor,” Abdulhadi Jfri, MD, MSc, of the division of dermatology at McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “There are scarce data regarding the prevalence of HS.”

The aim of the review and meta-regression analysis of the PubMed, Cochrane registry, ClinicalTrials.gov, NHS UK and Trip databases was to estimate overall HS prevalence. The researchers used the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology reporting guideline and assessed relevant data sets from the inception of the databases through May 2020.

After culling the total number of data sets for those that were cross-sectional in nature or included baseline assessments of longitudinal cohorts, the researchers ultimately assessed 16 studies. There were 38,082,054 participants represented in these findings.

Prevalence of HS in the overall population and among subgroups served as the primary endpoint. However, the researchers noted that only prevalence rates from the U.S., Australia, and Western European and Scandinavian nations ultimately were included.

Results showed a 0.4% (95% CI, 0.26%-0.63%) overall prevalence rate of HS. In studies based on clinical samples, the pooled prevalence rate was 1.7%. For population-based studies, a prevalence rate of 0.3% was reported.

Looking at individual regions, results showed prevalence rates of 0.1% (95% CI, 0%-0.4%) in the U.S., 0.7% (95% CI, 0.4%-1.1%) in Europe and 0.8% (95% CI, 0.1%-4.7%) in Australia. The researchers noted “substantial heterogeneity” between countries in the methodologies used in conducting studies.

“The findings of this systematic review and meta-regression analysis may help facilitate policy formulation, channeling funding and guiding principles for better disease diagnosis using universal valid tools and management,” the researchers wrote.