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J R Soc Med. 1996 July; 89(7): 403–408.
PMCID: PMC1295857

The hairy family of Burma: a four generation pedigree of congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa.


A Burmese family with congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa had an eventful history in the nineteenth century. The earlier members of this family were employed at the court of Ava, but the later ones spent their lives in show business, being widely exhibited for money in the 1880s. Their extraordinary hairiness attracted much curiosity, and they were photographed several times. The hairy Burmese are the only example of a four-generation pedigree of congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa, which is consistent with an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. There is good evidence that, when the members of this family were hairy, their dentition was also deficient.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Felgenhauer WR. Hypertrichosis lanuginosa universalis. J Genet Hum. 1969 May;17(1):1–44. [PubMed]
  • Beighton P. Congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa. Arch Dermatol. 1970 Jun;101(6):669–672. [PubMed]
  • Thomas Cadwalader (1708-1779). JAMA. 1969 Jan 20;207(3):553–554. [PubMed]
  • Zanca A. In tema di hypertrichosis universalis congenita: contributo storico-medico. Physis Riv Int Stor Sci. 1983;25(1):41–66. [PubMed]
  • Bondeson J, Miles AE. Julia Pastrana, the nondescript: an example of congenital, generalized hypertrichosis terminalis with gingival hyperplasia. Am J Med Genet. 1993 Aug 15;47(2):198–212. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press