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And a study of 117 Mensa members (who have an IQ of at least 140) were also found to have a tendency to thick body hair.Some of the most intelligent men appeared to be those who had hair on their backs as well as on their chests.Treatment response should be monitored for at least six months before making adjustments.Hirsutism is defined as excess terminal hair that commonly appears in a male pattern in women.Dr Alias, who kept his shirt firmly buttoned up yesterday, cited Robin Williams, Peter Sellers, the chess player Garry Kasparov and Charles Darwin as hairy men of high intelligence.In comparison, he said, "Look at Muhammed Ali: boxers are not at all hairy."He did hold out some hope for the smooth-skinned, however.Although hirsutism is generally associated with hyperandrogenemia, one-half of women with mild symptoms have normal androgen levels.

Hypertrichosis may be congenital or caused by metabolic disorders such as thyroid dysfunction, anorexia nervosa, and porphyria.4A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence; B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence; C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series.

Given these limitations, some experts recommend use of the term “patient-important hirsutism” to indicate symptoms significant enough to cause the patient distress, regardless of the degree of physical findings.1 Print Figure 1. A score of 1 to 4 is given for nine areas of the body. A total score less than 8 is considered normal, a score of 8 to 15 indicates mild hirsutism, and a score greater than 15 indicates moderate or severe hirsutism. Androgens, including testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and their prohormones dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and androstenedione, are the key factors in the growth and development of sexual hair.

A total score less than 8 is considered normal, a score of 8 to 15 indicates mild hirsutism, and a score greater than 15 indicates moderate or severe hirsutism. Androgens act on sex-specific areas of the body, converting small, straight, fair vellus hairs to larger, curlier, and darker terminal hairs.8 Men have higher androgen levels during and after puberty, and thus a greater degree of terminal hair development in sex-specific areas compared with women.

Further workup is guided by history and physical examination, and may include thyroid function tests, prolactin level, 17-hydroxyprogesterone level, and corticotropin stimulation test.

Treatment includes hair removal and pharmacologic measures.

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