New heart-risk finding for men is a hair thin
Good hair, strong heart?
The long-studied idea that balding men have a higher risk of heart disease gets some new support in a study out Wednesday — but experts say hair-challenged men need not rush to the doctor's office.
The study, published in the British medical journal BMJ Open, pools results of several previous studies with inconsistent results. It concludes that the link probably does exist, but is modest — far weaker than the link between heart disease and well-known risk factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
The findings might give balding young men one more good reason to work on reducing such known risks, says researcher Tomohide Yamada of the University of Tokyo in Japan.
A bald scalp, he says, may be a “marker” for some underlying condition that contributes both to hair loss and to coronary artery disease. That could be anything from high blood pressure to high sensitivity to testosterone, the researchers speculate.
Yamada and his colleagues looked at six previous observational studies, including four done in the United States. They included a total of 36,990 men. On their own, four of the six found some statistically significant link between baldness and indicators of heart disease.
Because the analysis relies on so few previous studies, it lacks the statistical power to add much new insight about the suspected link, says J. Michael Gaziano, a cardiologist at VA Boston and Brigham and Women's Hospital. “We have hundreds of things that are related to cardiovascular outcomes,” Gaziano says.
Kim Painter is a writer for USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.