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Quality of life, sexual function lower in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa

14 Feb 2018
Regular sexual intercourse is linked to a variety of physical and psychological health boosts

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) disrupts sexual function, which exerts a strong negative effect on quality of life (QoL) index scores, regardless of genital lesions, a recent study has shown.

The researchers performed a cross-sectional observational study on 50 HS patients to whom QoL and sexual functioning questionnaires were administered. A parallel group of 50 healthy controls was also included.

Compared with the control group, Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) scores were significantly lower in the HS group (p<0.0001), indicating worse QoL.

Analysis by sex showed that males with HS had significantly lower scores in the Sexual Quality of Life Questionnaire for Use in Men (SQoLM; p<0.0001) and International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIEF; p=0.019) relative to controls.

In comparison, distress related to sexual function, as measured by the revised Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSD-R), was significantly higher in females with vs without HS (p=0.002). HS did not lead to significant changes in Female Sexual Function Index scores (p=0.075).

Scores in the SQoLM (p=0.001) and FSDR (p<0.001) were significantly associated with the extent of sexual difficulties caused by the skin.

Notably, the presence of genital lesions did not cause significant changes in DLQI scores or sexual function measures in both males and females.

In hierarchical regression analyses, scores in the SQoLM and IIEF explained 72 percent of the variation in DLQI scores in males. Similarly, majority of the variance in female QoL scores was also explained by sexual distress and dysfunction.

“Overall, these results show that both male and female patients with HS experienced a negative impact on QoL and that sexual dysfunction is an important contributor to this impaired QoL,” said researchers.

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