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Baldness Linked to Heart Disease & Cancer

Baldness is a condition that undoubtedly affects self-esteem but research suggests it may have more serious physical implications as far as health risks are concerned.

Bald manRapid hair loss may be a marker for coronary heart disease, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine which included more than 22, 000 men aged 40 to 84. The study found that compared to men with no hair loss, those with severe vertex baldness (balding at the crown of the head) had a 36% increased risk of heart disease; men with moderate crown balding had a 32% increased risk, while mild balding on the crown carried a 23% increased risk…. Men with frontal baldness had a 9% increased risk.

Another study conducted by the US National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health Division of Cancer Epidemiology found that “male pattern baldness seems to be a risk factor for clinical prostate cancer”. The study based on 4,421 men with male pattern baldness aged 25 to 75 without history of prostate cancer revealed that the risk for prostate cancer was significantly elevated among these men, compared to those with abundant hair.

Physicians may now be using male pattern baldness as an early clinical marker or indicator of susceptibility to heart disease and prostate cancer but Dr. Elena Dimitrova is still cautious about the extent of such truth.

“It is possible that a link exists but whether baldness is a trigger of these conditions or merely a symptom of another triggering factor is uncertain,” Dr. Dimitrova said. Heart disease and hair loss are both related to poor blood circulation and prostate cancer and hair loss are both the result of a genetic predisposition.

“Hair loss is caused by the male hormone dirivitive, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which also plays a part in prostate cancer,” she said. “And poor blood circulation is related to heart disease but can also lead to diffuse thinning which can result in baldness.”

Most men carry the bald gene and there are a number of factors that can trigger the onset of hair loss. “Puberty can be a triggering factor, that is why some people start to experience hair loss early in life whereas others won’t notice it until later on when something else will trigger it,” Dr. Dimitrova said.

Male pattern baldness is a progressive and hereditary hair loss condition but the effects can be combated with effective, clinically and scientifically proven treatment. There are some lifestyle and environmental factors that have been linked to the onset of hairloss and these can be addressed by minimising all modifiable health risks, like cigarette smoking, excess alcohol intake, high-cholesterol, high-fat diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and unmanaged stress. Such measures for a healthier lifestyle will also help counter the increased risk for heart disease and prostate cancer among all individuals, including those men with male pattern baldness.

However, hair loss is in most cases is hereditary and if someone is a genetically predetermined culprit, ultimately, the only way to prevent hair loss is to combat that genetic process. There are currently only two medically and scientifically proven treatments for hair loss and if combined and administered correctly, with close specialised monitoring, will prevent and reverse hair loss in most cases. One of these drugs, Propecia, has recently been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

 (Bald man pic courtesy of TheeErin at flikr)

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5 Comments

16th April, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Duwe

Thank you for any other informative blog. The place else could I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect way? I have a mission that I'm simply now running on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

25th August, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Lenka

Hello i got a pain from my head all the time my hair isnt healthy its fallin out and it does hurt all the time i feel really bad when its start hurts can you please help to find out what wrong wit me thank you

26th August, 2015 at 11:05 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Lenka,

As you are experiencing pain in your head, we would recommend you visit your doctor to get this checked out. Once the underlying cause of the pain has been identified and addressed, we can help you with your hair loss if this continues.

5th February, 2017 at 9:27 am

Toni Harrison

Ezsperience hair lossalot scratching head arms rash like and loosing wieght alot and not to hungry and real thirsty was dianoces with lupis and fibro mialga and diabetes another dr said dnt have lupic but didnt test me i dnt know what it is

6th February, 2017 at 11:11 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Toni, you need to speak to your doctor to get a medical diagnosis of your condition and details of how to manage this. Once your underlying health issues are under control, if you are still experiencing hair loss, we can assess you and recommend treatments where appropriate.

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