BACKGROUND: Pilonidal sinus disease (PSD) is traditionally associated with young male patients. While PSD is rare in Asia and Africa, lifestyles are changing considerably throughout the so-called developed world. We question that PSD is an overwhelmingly male disease and that the proportion of women suffering from PSD is worldwide evenly distributed in a homogenous matter.
METHODS: We analysed the world literature published between 1833 and 2018, expanding on the database created by Stauffer et al. Following correction for gender bias with elimination of men-only and women-only studies, data were processed using random-effects meta-analysis in the technique of DerSimonian and Laird.
RESULTS: The share of female pilonidal sinus disease patients analysed from all studies available in the world literature is 21%. There are marked regional differences including South America (39%), North America as well as Australia/New Zealand (29%) and Asia (7%), which are highly significant. These results stand fast even if analysis without gender bias corrections was applied.
CONCLUSION: The share of female patients suffering from PSD is considerable. It is time to think of PSD as a disease of both men and women. Previously unknown, there are significant regional differences worldwide; the reason(s) for the regional differences is still unclear.