The hair loss condition male pattern baldness is often suggested to be a warning sign for more severe medical problems – though opinions on this vary and no definitive explanation as to why this may be the case has been forthcoming.
However, adding to the argument that men who lose their hair early in life may be susceptible to certain health problems, a new study from India appears to show overwhelming evidence that men who go grey and bald before they are 40 are much more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD).
Plausible risk factors
The research was undertaken at the U.N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre in Ahmedabad, where Sachin Patil, MD, wrote in a press release that the incidence of CAD in young men is increasing but cannot be explained by traditional risk factors. Patil added that, “premature greying and androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) correlate well with vascular age irrespective of chronological age and are plausible risk factors for coronary artery disease.”
In other words, men who go grey or lose their hair somewhat prematurely appear to be showing signs of the ageing process at a faster-than-normal rate and their health can suffer accordingly.
The Indian study involved 790 men with heart problems and more than 1,000 other men who had no history of any major illnesses. As well as hypertension and obesity being higher in patients with CAD, the researchers found that rates of both premature greying and androgenetic alopecia were greater, too. In fact, male pattern baldness was the strongest predictor of CAD among young Indian men.
“It is an established fact that premature CAD is becoming more common in India with each passing day. We do not know the exact reasons behind this,” K. Sarat Chandra, MD, DM, president-elect of the Cardiological Society of India, said in the press release. “The present study suggesting that premature greying and male pattern baldness could be important risk factors goes a long way in our understanding of this riddle.”
Whether or not doctors will start seeing baldness in relatively young men as a warning sign for other diseases any time soon remains to be seen, but the evidence appears to be mounting. A recent study in Greece found that men with genetic hairloss had significantly impaired coronary flow – prompting GP Dr Tillmann Jacobi to write that because the signs of male pattern baldness are so easy to see, “general practice is in a great position to offer preventive advice and early detection of asymptomatic risk factors.” He concluded that perhaps male pattern hair loss should be recategorised from a ‘cosmetic issue’ to a potential marker for underlying men’s health issues.
Other studies which support the link between male pattern baldness and serious health problems have also been undertaken in Germany and also in London, with the latter study noting that stress may be a key factor. Further research in Turkey supports this stress link.
While these negative health issues signalled by a man losing his hair early cannot currently be undone – though, as doctors note, steps may be considered to reduce the risk of some of these – the hair thinning itself can generally be effectively addressed with a tailored men’s hair loss treatment course.
These usually make use of two clinically-proven drugs – finasteride 1mg and high strength minoxidil – which, when used in combination, are able to inhibit production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT – which causes gradually thinning hair and/or a receding hairline in men with an active genetic predisposition – and also encourage new hair regrowth.
Belgravia clients who choose this non-surgical option are normally offered additional hair growth booster products to further enhance their hair’s recovery. These range from in-clinic therapeutic treatment sessions to home-use LLT and highly-targeted nutritional support with added DHT-lowering botanicals via Belgravia’s exclusive food supplement for healthy hair growth, Hair Vitalics for Men. Many clients also state that having the support of professional hair loss experts on hand, especially when starting down this route – and indeed in helping to closely monitor their regrowth and make adjustments to their treatment course in order to ensure it is always of optimum – is a very positive and encouraging part of their experience.
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.