Hair Loss Tied to Hundreds of Genes
By the age of 80, about 80 percent of men are affected by male pattern baldness—a condition with genetic roots. Researchers recently identified 287 genes involved in hair loss and developed a formula for predicting the condition.
For the study, researchers examined the DNA of more than 52,000 men—most of whom were middle aged. They found a strong genetic link to hair loss, which often runs in families. Men may inherit hair loss genes from either parent—some are carried across the genome and some are carried on the X chromosome, which comes from the mother.
In study participants, 16,700 had no hair loss; 12,000 had slight hair loss; 14,000 had moderate hair loss; and 9,800 had severe hair loss. Not surprisingly, men with the fewest hair loss genes were less likely to go bald. By developing a better understanding of the genetic causes for hair loss, researchers hope to one day develop better interventions.
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