What are the most common etiologies of gynecomastia?

Updated: Mar 22, 2018
  • Author: George Ansstas, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

A study by Den Hond et al on the effects of pollutants on sexual maturation indicated that higher blood levels of lead increased the risk of gynecomastia in the study's subjects, while higher serum levels of hexachlorobenzene decreased the risk. The report involved 1679 adolescents, aged 14-15 years. The mechanism of gynecomastia is thought to be through estrogen receptor binding and activation. [9]

Estimates suggest the following etiologies in males seeking medical attention for gynecomastia:

  • Persistent pubertal gynecomastia - 25%

  • Drugs - 10-25%

  • No detectable abnormality - 25%

  • Cirrhosis or malnutrition - 8%

  • Primary hypogonadism - 8%

  • Testicular tumors - 3%

  • Secondary hypogonadism - 2%

  • Hyperthyroidism - 1.5%

  • Chronic renal insufficiency - 1%


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