Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions of Hidradenitis Suppurativa among Young Adults in Singapore

Published: 29 March 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/9cw8gpbkxm.2
Matthew Song Peng Ng, Joel Guanyi Lim, John Ming Yan Koh, Sz-Ying Lee, Claire Hui Xian Seah, Samuel Chang, Joshua Teik Ann Tan, Vanessa Wei Shen Tan, Dhana Senthil Kumar, Ellie Choi, Gregor Jemec, John Frew,
, Nisha Suyien Chandran


Background: The prevalence of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is 0.00033% to 4.10% globally. Few epidemiological studies derive from Asia, with social stigmatisation postulated to result in under-diagnosis. Objective: This study aimed to assess the self-reported prevalence of HS, and the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions towards HS among Singaporean young-adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study (n=158) was conducted by anonymous online questionnaire. The association between demographic factors and risk of potentially undiagnosed HS was evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Differences between attitude-perception scores by demographic factors and knowledge of HS were tested using two-sample t-tests. Results: The prevalence of diagnosed and potentially undiagnosed HS was 0.63% and 8.9%, respectively. Non-Chinese had significantly higher social attitude-perception scores than Chinese (p=0.029). Females had significantly higher social (p=0.048) as well as economic and work (p=0.037) attitude-perception scores than males. Those with knowledge of HS had significantly higher attitude-perception scores for interpersonal (p=0.031) and social (p=0.0052) subsections. Limitations: Small sample size, low frequency of HS cases, and self-reported prevalence may not generalise to the broader population in Singapore. Conclusion: Our results suggest a potential underdiagnosis of HS. Non-Chinese stigmatise HS less than Chinese, and females less than males. Individuals with knowledge of HS might be more open to interpersonal and social interactions with HS sufferers.



National University Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health


Medical Dermatology, Young Adult, Hidradenitis Suppurativa