Heady Hormones

Estrogen levels may cause Hyperostosis Frontalis Interna

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Young girls are beginning their period at an increasingly earlier age. This trend to rapid maturity may also lead to premature conditions formerly associated with aging.

According to new research from Tel Aviv University, Hyperostosis Frontalis Interna (HFI), which is a hormonal condition usually occurring in post-menopausal women, is happening earlier and more often than a century ago.

"Get your hormone levels checked by your OB/GYN."

Israel Hershkovitz, Ph.D. and professor of anthropology at Tel Aviv University is a leader in research about the occurrence of HFI in the human skull. He reports that there isn't a cure for HFI, but detection is still important because it can be associated with several metabolic diseases and hormonal imbalance such as chronic headaches, weight gain, and thyroid irregularities.

To track the growing prevalence of HFI, Prof. Hershkovitz and fellow researchers examined 992 female skulls held in museums aged 20 to 90 years old at the time of their death. These skulls were from the 1800s and early 1900s. These skulls were compared with CT scans of 568 women alive in the 21st who are from 20 to 103 years old.The women in this century were 2.5 times more likely to have HFI than women from previous centuries. Additionally, the average age of women who have developed HFI has lowered dramatically.

Their survey also found that only 11 percent of 19-20th century women in the age range 30-39 had HFI, while 40 percent of modern women in the same age group have HFI.

The researchers surmise many factors could be the reason. Possibly food additives with hormones, delaying childbirth, having fewer children, birth control pills and/or shortened breastfeeding duration are causal.  

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 11, 2011
Last Updated:
September 13, 2011