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.
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 hair loss treatments known to stabilise shedding and promote hair growth: finasteride 1mg and minoxidil.
As part of a combination treatment course, prescribed by a hair loss specialist to ensure it contains the optimum formulations for each individual, many men will see their hair loss stop and often notice varying levels of hair growth within three-to-six months.
Androgenetic alopecia is a permanent condition and, as such, treatment does need to be ongoing, but it is not an onerous regime and usually requires little more than taking a single pill once per day and applying topical high strength minoxidil to the scalp where needed. For maximum effects, Belgravia clients are also offered boosters including food supplements called Hair Vitalics, and a home-use device called the LaserComb, which emits low-power laser light to stimulate the scalp.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.