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Male Hair Loss and Heart Attacks

A very depressing study from Harvard School of Public Health showed that loss of hair on the top of the head markedly increases a man's chances of suffering a heart attack. And the more hair he loses, the more likely he is to suffer a heart attack (1).

Men with male pattern baldness have higher than normal blood levels of testosterone (2). Testosterone increases risk of heart attacks by raising blood pressure and clotting and lowering blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol (3).

This study raises the interesting possibility that drugs used to treat male pattern baldness may also help to prevent heart attacks. Testosterone does not cause male pattern baldness. In the body, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone that causes male pattern baldness. Doctors prescribe Propecia, a drug that blocks dihydrotestosterone, to treat male pattern baldness (4). Dihydrotestosterone has been shown to stimulate the growth of smooth muscle cells that block arteries (5). It will be interesting to see if future studies show that Propecia also prevents heart attacks.
Preventing heart attacks

1) Lotufo PA et al. Male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med. 2000(Jan24);160:165-171.

2) J Androl 1997;18:495-500.

3) Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1925-1933.

4) J Am Acad Derm 1998;39(4pt1):578-589.

5) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1994;50:169-174.

Checked 9/21/10

August 22nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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