Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that presents with recurrent inflammatory nodules and draining tunnels in the skin. Most HS studies have focused on Western populations, and the understanding of how HS characteristics differ in specific Asian ethnicities is poor. We conducted the first systematic review and meta-analysis to characterize HS patients from East and Southeast Asia. PubMed, Embase, and Ovid MEDLINE databases were searched from inception to June 12, 2020. English-language case-series, cross-sectional, observational, and randomized controlled trial studies investigating HS in East and Southeast Asian populations were screened by titles, abstracts, and articles in duplicate. Of 136 citations, 10 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Data on gender distribution, lesion distribution in the axilla and gluteal regions, and family history were extracted in duplicate. A random effects model was used for the meta-analysis. A total of 30,125 HS patients were included in the analysis. Most patients were male (66%, 95% CI = 60-72%). About half of Asian patients with HS develop lesions in the axilla (52%, 95% CI = 33-72%) and the buttocks (48%, 95% CI = 38-57%). Only a small subset had positive family history of HS (5%, 95% CI = 2-8%). We report an up-to-date characterization of HS in East and Southeast Asian populations and highlight differences in their Western counterparts. These results will hopefully improve understanding for how HS may manifest, lead to more personalized treatments for Asian patients with HS, and usher in a proper patient-centered approach to treating the disease.
Ryan Daniel Gotesman, Charles Choi, Afsaneh Alavi