Sexual health and quality of life are impaired in hidradenitis suppurativa: a multicentre cross-sectional study.Br J Dermatol 2017; 176(4):1042-1047BJ
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) has a major impact on patients' quality of life (QoL). Although it has commonly been assumed that HS impairs sexual health, only a single case-control study has been performed on sexual functioning in a small group of patients with HS.
To investigate the QoL with a particular focus on sexual health in a substantial population of patients with HS.
In total 916 patients with HS received an invitation to participate in this multicentre cross-sectional survey.
Three hundred patients completed the questionnaires. This study showed a diminished QoL and sexual health in patients with HS (Female Sexual Function Index: 21·6 ± 9·6, International Index of Erectile Function: 49·7 ± 20·7, Arizona Sexual Experience Scale: 16·7 ± 5·3, Dermatology Life Quality Index: 12·5 ± 7·5). Sexual health was associated with QoL in women but not in men. Female sex and late onset of HS were associated with poor sexual function. Impairment of QoL was associated with anogenital involvement, early onset of HS, disease severity and disease activity.
HS is associated with impaired sexual health and QoL. Physicians should not hesitate to ask patients with HS about their sexual function and, when needed, offer them psychological support.