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Box 1.  

Causes of Gynecomastia.

Box 2.  

Common Drugs Associated With Gynecomastia.


Gynecomastia: Incidence, Causes, and Treatment

  • Authors: Fnu Deepinder, MD; Glenn D. Braunstein, MD
  • CME Released: 9/6/2011
  • Valid for credit through: 9/6/2012, 11:59 PM EST
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Target Audience and Goal Statement

This activity is intended for primary care physicians, endocrinologists, and other physicians who care for individuals with gynecomastia.

The goal of this activity is to evaluate the diagnosis and management of gynecomastia.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish when gynecomastia is usually diagnosed during the lifespan of males
  2. Diagnose gynecomastia and its causes effectively
  3. Evaluate treatment options for gynecomastia
  4. Assess means to prevent gynecomastia


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  • Fnu Deepinder, MD

    Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California


    Disclosure: Fnu Deepinder, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

  • Glenn D. Braunstein, MD

    Chairman, Department of Medicine, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California


    Disclosure: Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


  • Elisa Manzotti

    Editorial Director, Future Science Group, London, United Kingdom


    Disclosure: Elisa Manzotti has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

CME Author(s)

  • Charles P. Vega, MD

    Associate Professor; Residency Director, Department of Family Medicine, University of California, Irvine


    Disclosure: Charles P. Vega, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

CME Reviewer(s)

  • Nafeez Zawahir, MD

    CME Clinical Director, Medscape, LLC


    Disclosure: Nafeez Zawahir, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

  • Sarah Fleischman

    CME Program Manager, Medscape, LLC


    Disclosure: Sarah Fleischman has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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    For Physicians

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    Medscape, LLC designates this Journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ . Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Medscape, LLC staff have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationships.

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Gynecomastia: Incidence, Causes, and Treatment: Incidence & Prevalence


Incidence & Prevalence

Gynecomastia is defined as a benign proliferation of glandular tissue of the breast in males, resulting in a concentric enlargement of one or both breasts. It is frequent during three phases in the age distribution curve: the neonatal period, pubertal period and senescence.[1] The prevalence of asymptomatic gynecomastia in neonates is estimated to be between 60 and 90%.[2] The second physiological peak of occurrence is at puberty between the ages of 10 and 16 years. Approximately 50–60% of adolescents have been estimated to have gynecomastia based upon early literature.[3–5] However, a recently published large population-based cross-sectional study involving 6200 males 1–19 years of age has demonstrated the prevalence of gynecomastia to be approximately 4% in the age group of 10–19 years.[6] Variation in reported prevalence across the studies could be attributed to differences in the size of palpable breast tissue used to define gynecomastia, sample size and selection, and ethnic and regional differences. Gynecomastia is believed to be a mid-puberty event as it is more frequent in boys with pubic hair Tanner stage three and four.[6] There have been a number of conflicting study reports in the literature regarding the association of BMI with gynecomastia. While several investigators demonstrated that boys with gynecomastia are heavier,[3–5] others have found that boys with pubertal gynecomastia are shorter, leaner and have a lower BMI.[6,7] The last peak in incidence of gynecomastia is seen in men 50–85 years of age, and the reported prevalence is up to 70%. The frequency of bilateral gynecomastia is more common than unilateral gynecomastia.[8,9] The reported prevalence of unilateral gynecomastia is approximately 35–45%.[6,7]