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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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HAIR-AN syndrome


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Hyperandrogenic, insulin-resistant acanthosis nigricans syndrome
  • Hyperandrogenism (HA), insulin resistance (IR), and acanthosis nigricans (AN)
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HAIR-AN syndrome is a condition that affects women. It is characterized by hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and acanthosis nigricans.[1][2][3] Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. High levels of insulin stimulate the ovaries to make too much androgen, leading too excessive  hair growth, acne, and irregular periods. Insulin resistance can also lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and excessive growth and darkening of the skin (aconthosis nigricans).[1] Women with HAIR-AN may be born with insulin resistance or acquire it over time.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 5/27/2011


  1. Hirsutism and polycystic ovarian syndrome: A guide for patients. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. 2003; Accessed 5/27/2011.
  2. Elmer KB, George RM. HAIR-AN syndrome: a multisystem challenge. Am Fam Physician. 2001 Jun 15;63(12):2385-90; Accessed 5/27/2011.
  3. Omar H. HAIR-AN syndrome. Orphanet. November 2008; Accessed 5/27/2011.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss HAIR-AN syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles