Gynecomastia in a hospitalized male population

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Two hundred fourteen hospitalized adult men, aged 27 to 92, were examined for the presence of palpable gynecomastia. The overall prevalence was 65 percent. Gynecomastia was bilateral in all but 11 subjects. The prevalence was greatest in the 50 to 69-year-old group (72 percent). It was lower in the 70- to 89-year-old (47 percent, p < 0.01) and the 30- to 49-year-old (54 percent, p < 0.05) groups. The prevalence of gynecomastia increased with body mass Index. More than 80 percent of those with a body mass Index of 25 kg/m2 or greater had gynecomastia. The diameter of breast tissue also increased with increasing body mass index (r = 0.52, p < 0.001). The decreased prevalence of gynecomastia after the seventh decade could be explained by the lower body mass index in this group. The youngest group did not have a lower body mass index; an independent age factor appeared to be present. Because of the high overall prevalence of gynecomastia, independent effects of diseases or medications could not be determined. It is concluded that palpable bilateral gynecomastia is present in most older men, is correlated with the amount of body fat, and does not require clinical evaluation unless symptomatic or of recent onset.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The American Journal of Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Nydick M
        • Bustos J
        • Dale JH
        • Rawson RW
        Gynecomastia in adolescent boys.
        JAMA. 1961; 178: 449-454
        • Wilson JD
        • Aiman J
        • MacDonald PC
        The pathogenesis of gynecomastia.
        Adv Intern Med. 1980; 25: 1-32
        • Lewin ML
        Gynecomastia. The hypertrophy of the male breast.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1941; 1: 511-514
        • Gabrilove JL
        • Nicholis GL
        • Mitty HA
        • Sohval AR
        Feminizing interstitial cell tumor of the testes: personal observations and a review of the literature.
        Cancer. 1975; 35: 1184-1202
        • Nuttall FQ
        Gynecomastia as a physical finding in normal men.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1979; 48: 338-340
        • Carlson HE
        N Engl J Med. 1981; 303: 795-799
        • Williams MJ
        Gynecomastia, its incidence, recognition and host characteristics in 447 autopsy cases.
        Am J Med. 1963; 34: 103-112
        • Anderson JA
        • Gram JB
        Male breast at autopsy.
        Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand [A]. 1982; 90: 191-197
        • Edwards KDG
        • Whyte HM
        The simple measurement of obesity.
        Clin Sci. 1962; 22: 347-352
        • Burmeister W
        • Bingert A
        Die quantitativen Veränderungen der menschlichen Zellmasse zwischen dem 8. und 90. Lebensjahr.
        Klin Wochenschr. 1967; 45: 409-416
        • Forbes GB
        • Reina JC
        Adult lean body mass declines with age: some longitudinal observations.
        Metabolism. 1970; 19: 653-663
        • Novak LP
        Aging, total body potassium, fat-free mass, and cell mass in males and females between ages 18 and 85 years.
        J Gerontol. 1972; 27: 438-443
        • Durnin JVGA
        • Womersley J
        Body fat, estimated from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged 16–72 years.
        Br J Nutr. 1974; 32: 77-97
        • Hemsell DL
        • Grodin JM
        • Brenner PR
        • Siiteri PK
        • MacDonald PC
        Plasma precursors of estrogen. II. Correlation of the extent of conversion of plasma androstenedione to estrone with age.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1974; 38: 476-479
        • Pirke KM
        • Doerr P
        Age related changes in free plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and oestradiol.
        Acta Endocrinol. 1975; 80: 171-178
        • Stearns EL
        • MacDonnell JA
        • Kaufman BJ
        • et al.
        Declining testicular function with age.
        Am J Med. 1974; 57: 761-766
        • Becker KL
        • Matthews MJ
        • Winnacker J
        • Higgins GA
        Sequential histological study of the regression of gynecomastia in a patient with alcoholic liver disease.
        Am J Med Sci. 1967; 254: 685-691
        • Lindsay RM
        • Briggs JD
        • Luke RG
        • Boyle IT
        • Kennedy AC
        Gynecomastia in chronic renal failure.
        Br Med J. 1967; 4: 779-780
        • Freeman RM
        • Lawton RL
        • Fearing MO
        Gynecomastia: an endocrinologic complication of hemodialysis.
        Ann Intern Med. 1968; 69: 67-72
        • Stoffer SS
        • Hynes KM
        • Jiang NS
        • Ryan RJ
        Digoxin and abnormal serum hormone levels.
        JAMA. 1973; 225: 1643-1644
        • Rose LI
        • Underwood RH
        • Newmark SR
        • Kisch ES
        • Williams GH
        Pathophysiology of spironolactone-induced gynecomastia.
        Ann Intern Med. 1977; 87: 398-403
        • Loriaux DL
        • Menard R
        • Taylor A
        • Pita JC
        • Santen R
        Spironolactone and endocrine dysfunction.
        Ann Intern Med. 1976; 85: 630-636
        • Jensen RT
        • Collen MJ
        • Pandol SJ
        • et al.
        Cimetidine-induced impotence and breast changes in patients with gastric hypersecretory states.
        N Engl J Med. 1983; 308: 883-887