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April 20, 1963


JAMA. 1963;184(3):233-234. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700160109018

A recent investigation tested the postulate that the male breast may be a sensitive indicator of early hormonal imbalance. Williams1 reported the results of gross and histologic examination of the tissue of the breast in an unselected autopsy series consisting of 447 males. Gynecomastia was present in 40% of the cases. The diagnosis was made primarily by means of histologic study, since gross enlargement of the breast was rare. The scarcity of clinically overt gynecomastia in the sample was not an unexpected finding, and the investigation stressed microscopic changes because "preliminary studies had indicated that hyperplastic changes, indistinguishable from those of classic gynecomastia, may be found in breasts which are not obviously enlarged."1

Carcinoma of the prostate (both treated and untreated), benign prostatic hyperplasia, cirrhosis of the liver, and diabetes mellitus were associated with an increased incidence of gynecomastia. Adrenocortical hyperplasia and abnormalities of the thyroid and testes

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