The University of Tokyo recently conducted a large-scale research project in which more than 36,000 men were evaluated. Upon completion of the study, lead researchers determined that men experiencing serious baldness may have a highly elevated risk for heart disease. Specifically, that risk may be as much as 44 percent higher over a timespan of 10 to 15 years as compared to men who didn’t experience hair loss. These findings were published by the British Medical Journal.
Researchers identified two key characteristics from the most vulnerable men in the group. Men who were identified as missing most of their hair on the top of the scalp, and those who had lost that hair before the age of 60 were deemed as having the highest risk of heart disease.
While a strong correlation between the two conditions was clear, the underlying connection has not yet been discovered. An early hypothesis researchers have made is that it relates to high levels of testosterone. Men who are bald have higher levels in their blood, and they also have high levels of the enzyme which converts that testosterone into DHT. DHT is the hormone that is largely responsible for male pattern baldness. Some researchers believe that the enzyme could react with testosterone in a way that causes plaque build-up in the arteries, in addition to baldness.
Further research is needed before medical experts can make suggestions to their patients about mitigating this risk associated with baldness. In the mean time, those who experience baldness can discuss these findings with their doctor as an extra precaution.
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