↓ Skip to main content

Interventions for hirsutism (excluding laser and photoepilation therapy alone)

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2015
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (88th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (58th percentile)

Mentioned by

twitter
17 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page
wikipedia
2 Wikipedia pages
googleplus
1 Google+ user

Citations

dimensions_citation
23 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
234 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
Interventions for hirsutism (excluding laser and photoepilation therapy alone)
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010334.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Esther J van Zuuren, Zbys Fedorowicz, Ben Carter, Nikolaos Pandis

Abstract

Hirsutism occurs in 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age when there is excessive terminal hair growth in androgen-sensitive areas (male pattern). It is a distressing disorder with a major impact on quality of life. The most common cause is polycystic ovary syndrome. There are many treatment options, but it is not clear which are most effective. To assess the effects of interventions (except laser and light-based therapies alone) for hirsutism. We searched the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL (2014, Issue 6), MEDLINE (from 1946), EMBASE (from 1974), and five trials registers, and checked reference lists of included studies for additional trials. The last search was in June 2014. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in hirsute women with polycystic ovary syndrome, idiopathic hirsutism, or idiopathic hyperandrogenism. Two independent authors carried out study selection, data extraction, 'Risk of bias' assessment, and analyses. We included 157 studies (sample size 30 to 80) comprising 10,550 women (mean age 25 years). The majority of studies (123/157) were 'high', 30 'unclear', and four 'low' risk of bias. Lack of blinding was the most frequent source of bias. Treatment duration was six to 12 months. Forty-eight studies provided no usable or retrievable data, i.e. lack of separate data for hirsute women, conference proceedings, and losses to follow-up above 40%.Primary outcomes, 'participant-reported improvement of hirsutism' and 'change in health-related quality of life', were addressed in few studies, and adverse events in only half. In most comparisons there was insufficient evidence to determine if the number of reported adverse events differed. These included known adverse events: gastrointestinal discomfort, breast tenderness, reduced libido, dry skin (flutamide and finasteride); irregular bleeding (spironolactone); nausea, diarrhoea, bloating (metformin); hot flushes, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, headaches (gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues)).Clinician's evaluation of hirsutism and change in androgen levels were addressed in most comparisons, change in body mass index (BMI) and improvement of other clinical signs of hyperandrogenism in one-third of studies.The quality of evidence was moderate to very low for most outcomes.There was low quality evidence for the effect of two oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) (ethinyl estradiol + cyproterone acetate versus ethinyl estradiol + desogestrel) on change from baseline of Ferriman-Gallwey scores. The mean difference (MD) was -1.84 (95% confidence interval (CI) -3.86 to 0.18).There was very low quality evidence that flutamide 250 mg, twice daily, reduced Ferriman-Gallwey scores more effectively than placebo (MD -7.60, 95% CI -10.53 to -4.67 and MD -7.20, 95% CI -10.15 to -4.25). Participants' evaluations in one study with 20 participants confirmed these results (risk ratio (RR) 17.00, 95% CI 1.11 to 259.87).Spironolactone 100 mg daily was more effective than placebo in reducing Ferriman-Gallwey scores (MD -7.69, 95% CI -10.12 to -5.26) (low quality evidence). It showed similar effectiveness to flutamide in two studies (MD -1.90, 95% CI -5.01 to 1.21 and MD 0.49, 95% CI -1.99 to 2.97) (very low quality evidence), as well as to finasteride in two studies (MD 1.49, 95% CI -0.58 to 3.56 and MD 0.40, 95% CI -1.18 to 1.98) (low quality evidence).Although there was very low quality evidence of a difference in reduction of Ferriman-Gallwey scores for finasteride 5 mg to 7.5 mg daily versus placebo (MD -5.73, 95% CI -6.87 to -4.58), it was unlikely it was clinically meaningful. These results were reinforced by participants' assessments (RR 2.06, 95% CI 0.99 to 4.29 and RR 11.00, 95% CI 0.69 to 175.86). However, finasteride showed inconsistent results in comparisons with other treatments, and no firm conclusions could be reached.Metformin demonstrated no benefit over placebo in reduction of Ferriman-Gallwey scores (MD 0.05, 95% CI -1.02 to 1.12), but the quality of evidence was low. Results regarding the effectiveness of GnRH analogues were inconsistent, varying from minimal to important improvements.We were unable to pool data for OCPs with cyproterone acetate 20 mg to 100 mg due to clinical and methodological heterogeneity between studies. However, addition of cyproterone acetate to OCPs provided greater reductions in Ferriman-Gallwey scores.Two studies, comparing finasteride 5 mg and spironolactone 100 mg, did not show differences in participant assessments and reduction of Ferriman-Gallwey scores (low quality evidence). Ferriman-Gallwey scores from three studies comparing flutamide versus metformin could not be pooled (I² = 62%). One study comparing flutamide 250 mg twice daily with metformin 850 mg twice daily for 12 months, which reached a higher cumulative dosage than two other studies evaluating this comparison, showed flutamide to be more effective (MD -6.30, 95% CI -9.83 to -2.77) (very low quality evidence). Data showing reductions in Ferriman-Gallwey scores could not be pooled for four studies comparing finasteride with flutamide as the results were inconsistent (I² = 67%).Studies examining effects of hypocaloric diets reported reductions in BMI, but which did not result in reductions in Ferriman-Gallwey scores. Although certain cosmetic measures are commonly used, we did not identify any relevant RCTs. Treatments may need to incorporate pharmacological therapies, cosmetic procedures, and psychological support. For mild hirsutism there is evidence of limited quality that OCPs are effective. Flutamide 250 mg twice daily and spironolactone 100 mg daily appeared to be effective and safe, albeit the evidence was low to very low quality. Finasteride 5 mg daily showed inconsistent results in different comparisons, therefore no firm conclusions can be made. As the side effects of antiandrogens and finasteride are well known, these should be accounted for in any clinical decision-making. There was low quality evidence that metformin was ineffective for hirsutism and although GnRH analogues showed inconsistent results in reducing hirsutism they do have significant side effects.Further research should consist of well-designed, rigorously reported, head-to-head trials examining OCPs combined with antiandrogens or 5α-reductase inhibitor against OCP monotherapy, as well as the different antiandrogens and 5α-reductase inhibitors against each other. Outcomes should be based on standardised scales of participants' assessment of treatment efficacy, with a greater emphasis on change in quality of life as a result of treatment.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 17 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 234 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Unknown 230 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 44 19%
Unspecified 40 17%
Researcher 34 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 29 12%
Student > Bachelor 24 10%
Other 62 26%
Unknown 1 <1%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 100 43%
Unspecified 49 21%
Nursing and Health Professions 26 11%
Social Sciences 14 6%
Psychology 13 6%
Other 31 13%
Unknown 1 <1%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 13. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 April 2019.
All research outputs
#1,126,367
of 13,243,534 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#3,464
of 10,533 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#25,350
of 227,457 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#96
of 231 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,243,534 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,533 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 227,457 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 231 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 58% of its contemporaries.