Prevalence of hyperprolactinemia

How common is Hyperprolactinemia?I’ve long wondered how many people have hyperprolactinemia. I’ve never liked the feeling of sailing this boat alone. When I started investigating and found out how common hyperprolactinemia is, I was actually relieved. I also asked my doctor how many people have hyperprolactinemia. She had absolutely no idea, didn’t seem to care and basically gave me the impression that she thought it was the most stupid question anyone had ever asked her. But I think it’s very relevant. It gives the patient information to pass on: “I have hyperprolactinemia, which is a relatively common condition effecting X%.” Instead of “I have hyperprolactinemia and I know absolutely nothing about it!”

So I’ve done some digging and found some numbers for you (and me!). First of all many numbers can be found but they all include or exclude different criteria, making it difficult to compare them. This article mentions a prevalence of “0.4% in an unselected healthy adult population in Japan”. I was quite surprised when I read this. 1 out of 250 people sounds to me like a lot of prolactin!

The article goes on to testify that up to 5% of people consulting a family planning clinic is hyperprolactinemic. The article doesn’t mention if the 5% covers all people seeking guidance at a clinic due to various reasons, or only people seeking help due to infertility. But I guess the latter makes most sense.

But if we go a bit further and include the criteria menstrual related problems, hyperprolactinemia is even more predominant. A study done to determine the ‘Prevalence of hyperprolactinemia in adolescents and young women with menstruation-related problems’ concludes a prevalence of 2.4% (age 11-20) and 12.1% (age 21-30).

An analysis of 1,607 patients with medically treated hyperprolactinemia, the calculated mean prevalence was approximately 10 per 100,000 in men and approximately 30 per 100,000 in women, with a peak prevalence for women aged 25–34 yr.

The diagnosis is very much age dependent and the various percentages are therefore not directly comparable if the criterion differs. The above quotation from this publication indicates a much lower prevalence in the general population than the previous mentioned 0.4%. But the fact that age is of great importance indicates that 0.4% could be the prevalence at age 25-34 years of age (peak age). Taking into account that hyperprolactinemia is a much less common condition in adolescents.

And again… hyperprolactinemia can be caused by various diseases and conditions. But in order for the above to sink in I think I will cover causes of hyperprolactinemia in my next post.

29 Comments

  1. Jess said:

    Hi –

    I have also been diagnosed with high prolactin. I would love to connect with you. I have been going to a naturopathic physician. I like what you said about not accepting the fact that it is just in my DNA. I also think there is another reason. For myself, I think it was birth control. I was fine until I took birth control for 2 years, then decided I hated the way it made me feel. Now it has been 4 years since my last menstrual cycle. I really am desperate for a cure. I have just been reading this week about the Gerson Therapy. I had emailed them and they sent me a case where a lady was cured of a pituitary tumor. I have been doing acupuncture every 2 weeks for about 3 months now. I am on a bunch of herbal supplements, and trying to establish menses again based on the moon cycle. The regimen is quite rigorous. I think this could be my full time job! I’m happy to see you posting info on this. I have seriously been considering starting my own blog to see if other people are out there like me! I’m so frustrated with this illness now, I’m just so ready to give it up and take the bromocriptine or birth control again. :-(

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