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African American race is a risk factor for severe hidradenitis suppurativa. Int J Dermatol 2023 May;62(5):657-663



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85139046353 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   4 Citations


BACKGROUND: African Americans face a disproportionate incidence and prevalence of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in the United States, but HS severity and outcomes across racial and ethnic groups have not been well-established while controlling for potentially confounding factors. In this retrospective cohort study, we investigated the associations of race and ethnicity with HS severity, emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and surgeries for HS while controlling for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), tobacco use, and insurance type.

METHODS: We reviewed 1190 patients seen at the Medical College of Wisconsin with ≥3 encounters for HS between 1/1/2002 and 3/19/2019, excluding those without race data or an encounter in which HS was treated.

RESULTS: A total of 953 patients were included; 470 patients were Black or African American non-Hispanic (49%), 39 Hispanic (4%), 418 White non-Hispanic (44%), and 26 other race or ethnicity (3%). Controlling for age, sex, BMI, tobacco use, and insurance type, Black patients had 2.8 times the odds of having Hurley stage III disease (95% CI 1.76-4.45, P < 0.001), 2.86 times the risk for experiencing an ED visit for HS (95% CI 2.12-3.88, P < 0.001), 2.25 times the risk for experiencing a hospitalization for HS (95% CI 1.42-3.56, P < 0.001), and 1.61 times the risk for experiencing a surgical encounter for HS (95% CI 1.34-1.95, P < 0.001) when compared to White patients.

CONCLUSIONS: African Americans face significant disparities in HS severity, ED visits, hospitalizations, and surgeries. The causes of these disparities must be further investigated and addressed.

Author List

Ulschmid C, Serrano L, Wu R, Roth GM, Sokumbi O


Gretchen M. Roth MD Assistant Professor in the Dermatology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
United States