Baldness linked to higher heart disease risk
Here’s one more reason to worry about losing your hair. New research from the University of Tokyo has found that shedding hair from the crown of your head may indicate a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. The scientists did not find the same connection between a receding hairline and heart problems, but men who lost hair on both the front and top of their heads were determined to have a 70 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than their peers with full heads of hair.
The researchers pored over 850 reports between 1950 to 2012 in the Medline and Cochrane Library databases on male pattern baldness, though only six involved enough criteria to qualify for this study. All told, the research included about 40,000 men. .
And the results were definitive: Men who were losing their hair clearly had a higher risk of heart disease. Among those aged 55 to 60, bald or extensively balding men had a 44 percent increased risk, while those in younger age groups had an 84 percent higher risk. In addition to age, elevated risk was also associated with the severity of baldness, as those with a higher degree of baldness on the top/crown of the head had a further increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.
The authors of the study suspect the causes of this correlation could include that baldness leaves the body in an increased state of inflammation, that balding men have an increased sensitivity to testosterone and that balding could indicate insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. All of these factors are directly or indirectly associated with promoting cardiovascular disease.