Men with the genetic hair loss
are increasingly thought to be more susceptible to other health issues, with this common condition
being linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in particular.
Now, by analysing historical data from 19 patients with Male Pattern Baldness
(also known as androgenetic alopecia or AGA), doctors in South Korea have identified abnormalities in their lipid profiles, lipids being fats that are one of the three main components of living cells.
Link suggested in earlier studies
A team of five doctors split between hospitals in Seoul and Jeonju wanted to investigate if there was an association between genetic baldness and dyslipidaemia abnormal levels of lipids as had previously been suggested in earlier studies. They were partially influenced by repeated studies suggesting that genetic hair loss may be a risk factor
for cardiovascular disorders and the fact that lipid irregularities can lead to such problems.
In its findings, published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
, the medical team states: “We pooled 19 observational studies and performed a meta-analysis to compare serum total cholesterol, serum triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the cholesterol levels between AGA and control groups. The serum total cholesterol, TG and LDL cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the AGA group than in the control group.
Additionally, the report explains how HDL cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the control group. These findings, the authors say, show that people with male pattern baldness showed statistically significant abnormal lipid profiles, and that this may partly explain the association between genetic hairloss and cardiovascular disease.
A number of doctors are starting to believe that hereditary baldness should be re-categorised
from a cosmetic condition to an indicator of potential medical problems, as studies continue to show that men who are going bald have a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions.
For patients, this would be unlikely to lead to a sudden rush of hair loss products
becoming available on the NHS, but it may mean that men could at least get themselves checked out for some rather serious medical ailments when the tell-tale signs of hair loss
started to become obvious.
Large number of men affected
The problem, though, is that so many men are affected by genetic hair loss. The NHS estimates that around half of all men will be affected by the time they are 50, and given that heart disease is the biggest killer of men in the UK it’s quite hard to point to a thinning crown
or perhaps a receding hairline
and suggest that something more serious may be just around the corner. Additionally, no studies have illustrated that it is only bald men who have cardiovascular disease.
Perhaps the only real respite for men with Male Pattern Baldness is the fact that hairloss can actually be treated much to many men’s surprise. Many years of research and funding have gone into developing the only two clinically-proven, MHRA licensed and FDA approved hair loss treatments
known to stabilise shedding and promote hair growth.
Used individually or simultaneously, these can often produce significant results, from stabilisation of hair shedding to varying levels of hair growth
Androgenetic alopecia is a permanent condition and, as such, treatment does need to be on-going as, in the same way we brush our teeth every day to reduce plaque build up in order to prevent cavities, the DHT
which causes follicular miniaturisation will continue to target genetically-predisposed follicles along the top of the scalp, in the areas located from crown to hairline and temporal regions, causing gradually thinning hair, hair fall and potentially eventual baldness, unless interventional steps are taken.