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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Hyperhidrosis : prevalence, predisposing factors, and psychological comorbidities Bahar, Rayeheh


Background: Hyperhidrosis (HH) is a disorder in which patient suffers from excessive sweating without any known etiology such as the rise in temperature. Although there have been some epidemiological studies on hyperhidrosis, questions still remain regarding the prevalence of hyperhidrosis and associated demographical, ethnic or geographical factors. Similarly, the association of hyperhidrosis with anxiety and depression has not been systematically investigated. Finally, the relationship between daytime hyperhidrosis and nighttime sweating has not been examined. Methods: One thousand and ten consecutive subjects attending dermatology outpatient clinics in Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital and 1017 subjects in Skin Care Center of Vancouver General Hospital were investigated for this case-control, cross-sectional study after filling out a questionnaire on their presenting concerns, demographical information and mental stress and sweating symptoms. The subjects were then classified to have primary HH subtypes using the criteria of International Hyperhidrosis Society, late onset hyperhidrosis, or no-HH. Then the prevalence of HH and its correlation with anxiety, depression and NS was examined in both single variants and multivariate logistic regression analyses, stratified according to age at examination, sex, ethnicity, presenting diagnosis, BMI, and specific study cities. Results: The prevalence of total HH is very similar in Shanghai and Vancouver (about 18%). Primary HH subtypes have the highest prevalence in those younger than 30 years old, decreasing dramatically in later years. Caucasian subjects are more likely to develop axillary hyperhidrosis compared to Chinese subjects. The prevalence of anxiety and depression was 21.3% and 27.2% in hyperhidrosis patients, respectively, and 7.5% and 9.7% in patients without hyperhidrosis. Among the effects of ethnicity, mental stress symptoms and HH, which are correlated with NS, HH is the most associated factor with NS as more than half of the patients with HH suffer from NS. Conclusion: Prevalence of total HH is similar in different geographical locations. However, certain specific HH subtypes can show great variations according to ethnicity, age, body mass index and sex and based on the severity of sweating. Similar to NS, both anxiety and depression were more prevalent in patients with HH, than those without HH.

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