ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Male baldness is linked to heart disease

Updated on August 7, 2013

Less hair means more heart problems, says medical community

Head of an old Roman, ca. 60 BC. (Image in the public domain)
Head of an old Roman, ca. 60 BC. (Image in the public domain)

Each morning millions of men go through a discouraging routine of examining their hair and scalp for signs of hair loss. The tangle of hair they discover on their brushes and in the sink is more than an irritating sign of potential baldness it may also signal impeding heart disease.

Recent scientific studies conclude that men with hair loss — particularly on top of their heads — are at greater risk of developing heart disease than guys with a full head of hair. This connection was first reported in a 2000 study conducted by the Harvard Medical School.

In a 2013 study, researchers at University of Tokyo expanded on the work at Harvard and examined six studies of male pattern baldness and their incidents of coronary heart disease (CHD). These studies involving 37,000 men were conducted between 1993 and 2008.

The study linked men with vortex baldness (or balding on the top of the head) to an increased risk of CHD, according to the University of Tokyo study published in BMJ Open, an online medical journal.

Men with balding on the top and front of the head are 69% more likely to have heart disease.

Image in public domain
Image in public domain

Guys with vertex and frontal balding were 69% more likely to have heart disease than men with a full head of hair. Those with balding only on the top had a 52% higher chance.

Of those with vertex balding, those with extensive balding on the top of their scalp had a 48% higher risk of coronary heart disease. Moderate vertex balding went up by 36% and mild went up to 18%.

Men with a receding hairline had no additional risks.

The Harvard study examined additional factors. It concluded that vertex balding combined with high blood pressure almost doubled the CHD risk. While men with vertex baldness and high cholesterol are nearly three times at the risk of heart disease, compared to those with high cholesterol and no hair loss.

“Vertex baldness is more closely associated with hardening of the arteries than with frontal baldness,” says the University of Tokyo study. "Thus, cardiovascular risk factors should be reviewed carefully in men with vertex baldness, especially younger men."

What causes baldness?

If you’re losing your hair you can blame your genes, hormones and age.

Typically, about a third of all men begin to lose their hair by the age of 45. Half of all men suffer substantial hair loss by the age of 50. And by their 65th birthday nearly all guys have some hair loss.

Balding men inherit hair follicle genes that are overly sensitive to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone produced by testosterone weakens the hair follicles resulting in finer, shorter hair. Eventually, weakened follicles cause hair growth to stop.

Since testosterone is involved in thinning hair and baldness, many bald men believe the myth that going bald is a sign of virility. However, balding men don’t have more testosterone than guys with a full head of hair. Their hair follicles are simply more sensitive to the hormones.

"There's a physical sign... linked to a problem inside"

The male hormone testosterone acts directly on many tissues in the body. Testosterone produces dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and this hormone is known to act on hair follicles. A higher amount of DHT produces hair on the chest, but it stops or deteriorates hair growth on the scalp.

Dr. Lori Mosca, a cardiologist, discussed the University of Tokyo study on CBS This Morning and noted that DHT may also damage receptors in the heart.

“The damage that testosterone can do to the hair follicles and also to blood vessels may be an underlying link,” Dr. Mosca said.

“I like this study. It has a message for us because it tells us there’s a physical sign that we should pay attention to that might be linked to a problem inside. Men should make sure they are living a heart healthy lifestyle,” Dr. Mosca concluded.

Changing your lifestyle is the most effective way of reducing the risk of heart disease. These changes include:

  • lose weight if you're overweight.
  • quit smoking if you're a smoker.
  • increase your amount of exercise and physical activity.

Whose Bald Head Is It Anyway?

Other risk signs: ear creases and deposits on the eyelid

Another study points to two other visible factors, besides baldness, that are associated with an increased risk of heart disease — earlobe creases and fatty deposits around the eyelid.

Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, the study’s senior author and professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen, said everyone should be aware of these signs.

“Checking these visible aging signs should be a routine part of every doctor’s physical examination,” Dr. Hansen said, according to the American Heart Association.

Researchers in this study analyzed 10,885 participants 40 years and older (55% men and 45% women). They noted four visual cues: receding hairlines at the temples, vortex baldness, earlobe creases and yellow fatty deposits around the eyelid. They found individuals with three of the four factors had a 57% increased risk for heart attack and a 39% increased risk for heart disease than normal.

Fatty eyelid deposits were the rarest aging sign, but the study says they are the strongest single predictor of heart disease.

Baldness linked to prostrate cancer, says another study

An Australia study of 1,446 men found that men with vertex baldness were 1½ times more likely to have prostate cancer than those without these bald spots on top of their heads.

The study found no link between a receding hairline and prostate cancer, according to Harvard Health Publications’ website, a division of Harvard University's Medical School.

Source

Looking for more? Check...

The Hair Loss Myth Buster: It examines such topics as: "Can standing on your head end hair loss?" This website is operated by NHS, England's Department of Health.

Heart Attack Risk Assessment: Scroll down to the middle of this American Heart Association webpage and press the button on the left labeled: “Learn Your Risk.” You’ll be asked a few questions about your current lifestyle and health, including your latest glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure readings. When you finish they’ll graphically display your current heart disease risks and how to improve upon them, if necessary. –TDowling

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)