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Hidradenitis Suppurativa Death Rate And Life Expectancy

Written By May 25, 2023No Comments

Updated on May 25, 2023

hidradenitis-suppurativa death rate and life expectancy

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS): Overview

Ever experienced life-threatening acne-like painful boils underneath the skin in the hair roots or near some of the body’s sweat glands? Hidradenitis suppurativa is a rare skin condition that impacts the mortality rate. According to research, the hidradenitis suppurativa death rate is attributed to cardiovascular diseases or secondary infections. Hidradenitis suppurativa is a rarely encountered skin disease with a clinical presentation varying from pitted blackheads to painful pea-sized lumps and bumps connected by tunnels underneath the skin. The condition, although dermatological in origin, takes a toll on the body, emotionally and physically. Comprehensive management involves combining medical and surgical treatments as the cornerstones, which are tailored according to the severity of the disease. For enhanced patient care, participation in hidradenitis suppurativa clinical trials might help.

What is the life expectancy of someone with hidradenitis suppurativa is a primary concern with HS. Continue reading the blog to understand the intricacies of the hidradenitis suppurativa death rate & treatment options.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa: Commonly Involved Sites

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a recurrent, chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by painful nodules, abscesses, and sinus tracts, in areas with apocrine sweat glands. The problem originates with the occlusion of the sweat glands (apocrine glands) in the hair follicles beneath the skin. One might endure repeated outbreaks lasting for a few days or months in the exact location.

The commonly affected sites of the body where skin folds elicit blockage are:

  • Groins and genitals
  • Armpits
  • Surrounding the anal region
  • Below the breasts
  • Between buttocks
  • Between thighs (inner thighs)
  • In between the folds of the stomach
  • Nape of neck
  • Behind ears

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa is more prevalent in women around puberty, although it can occur at any age. The onset of the first symptoms usually appears in the teens and early 20s. As of yet, gender and age are not known to affect the mortality rate or incidence of HS. Studies suggest a variable relationship between smoking and obesity with increased mortality rates in HS patients. Smoking is a common factor that increases the severity of hidradenitis suppurativa and impacts overall health outcomes. It worsens pre-existing symptoms, delays wound healing, and increases inflammation. Consequently, increasing the hidradenitis suppurativa death rate. The commonly reported cardiac events in HS patients include myocardial infarction and stroke.

Obesity is the second most common determinant of worsening health outcomes in HS patients. It is a common comorbidity in HS patients that increase the risk of other chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.

However, the evidence is insufficient to conclude if an exact relationship exists between cardiac issues and the hidradenitis suppurativa death rate.

Hidradenitis suppurativa Death Rate and Influencing Risk Factors

Statistically, 1 in 3 cases reports a family history of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Although the exact cause of the relationship between hidradenitis suppurativa and cardiovascular disease is unknown, individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa demonstrate systemic inflammatory load, with higher circulating leukocyte counts and C-reactive protein. According to a study, the risk of cardiovascular death was 58% higher in patients with HS. However, the rise in the mortality rate infers an association of hidradenitis suppurativa death rate with cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus. Women who smoke and are obese are twice more likely to get hidradenitis suppurativa than those who don’t. Other factors such as genetics, hormonal dysfunction, and environmental factors also contribute to the onset of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Hidradenitis Supprativa Death Rate & Comorbidities

Hidradenitis suppurativa is more than just a skin disease. The condition impairs the quality of life and predisposes to comorbidities. This, however, alters the number of hidradenitis suppurativa death rates. The commonly reported comorbidities are:

  • Metabolic diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Smoking 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma 
  • Anxiety/depression

Early diagnosis and comprehensive management of hidradenitis suppurativa play a crucial role in minimizing disease progression and potential complications. Timely intervention mitigates the burden of symptoms, improves the quality of life, and potentially lowers the risk of associated comorbidities.

Treatment For Hidradenitis Suppurativa 

To date, there is no “Gold standard treatment” in the market for prompt recovery from hidradenitis suppurativa.

Available treatment options to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling or simply manage the condition includes:

  • Warm compress: Warm compress with a warm cloth for 10 minutes works fine for mild cases
  • NSAIDs: OTC medications to alleviate pain and inflammation
  • Antibiotics: Indicated for secondary infections
  • Corticosteroid injections: Injected into the bumps to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling
  • Oral retinoids: For severe cases
  • Biologics: Administered via I.V. to strengthen the body’s defense mechanism against germs
  • Surgery: Performed as the last resort when the condition is no longer manageable with other potential treatment modalities

Lifestyle Modifications

People with HS are usually educated about lifestyle modifications, weight management, and smoking cessation to help them through their struggles with recurrent episodes of painful HS bumps. Some of these lifestyle changes are considered integral components of HS management by many dermatologists. Compliance with the below-mentioned tips might render hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) less severe with fewer outbreaks:

  • Quit smoking
  • Wear breathable, loose clothes
  • Shed unhealthy weight
  • Spare shaving trouble spots
  • Maintain hygiene

Also, read: A dietary guide to feeling better with HS


In conclusion, hidradenitis suppurativa is a rare disease that affects the quality of life if left untreated. There is no definitive test for diagnosing hidradenitis suppurativa. Prompt diagnosis allows for early initiation of treatment tailored to the severity of the disease, which may include topical or systemic medications, lifestyle modifications, and surgical interventions. However, early intervention is the best way to reduce the hidradenitis suppurativa death rate and avoid potential comorbidities. Participating in paid clinical trials is another option to access novel therapies.

Dr. Unzila Nadeem

Author Dr. Unzila Nadeem

Dr. Unzila Nadeem currently works as a Patient Recruitment Associate. With her combined experience as a dentist and her firm grip on research processes, she makes a valuable addition to our Patient Recruitment team.

More posts by Dr. Unzila Nadeem

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