Hair loss could be the first sign you have heart disease
Scientists have discovered that a link exists between hair loss and heart disease in men. However, this is only if the hair loss is occurring off the top of the head.
Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition affecting millions of men worldwide. In a study involving 40,000 participants, the findings indicate that the chances of developing heart disease increase by 70% in men with hair loss. Two other factors further increased this risk:
- The younger the age the men lost their hair
- The extent of the baldness
Men with different types of hair loss, such as a receding hairline, do not appear to have the same risk according to the study.
Known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness occurs because of shrinking hair follicles. Eventually, the hair follicles become dormant and no longer support hair growth. The progression of the condition may take as little as 5 years to as many as 25 years. It is the quick progression which makes suffers more susceptible to heart disease. The hormone dihydrotestosterone, derived from the hormone testosterone, plays a part in male pattern balding.
The popular drug, minoxidil, formerly used in treating high blood pressure, itself a precursor to heart disease, can be used to slow down the progression of balding. The British Heart Foundation, commenting on the findings, said there is more research needed to confirm the link. A spokesperson suggested men should do more to watch their weight and address other risk factors instead of focusing on hair loss.
Researchers in Japan (the University of Tokyo) have also come to similar findings. They said, “Cardiovascular risk factors should be assessed carefully in men with vertex baldness [on the crown of the head] and they probably should be encouraged to improve their cardiovascular risk profile.”
Putting the risks of heart disease aside, male pattern balding has psychological and social effects too. There are medical and surgical treatments available, including a hair transplant and scalp micropigmentation. Vinci Hair Clinic specializes in hair loss treatments. Look at our treatment pages to find out more.