A 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).
It will be interesting to see if future studies show that Proscar, the drug that prevents male-pattern baldness, also prevents heart attacks. 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, the drug that prevents male-pattern baldness also prevents heart attacks.
Propecia, the drug prescribed for male-pattern baldness costs five times as much as Proscar, the drug recommended to treat enlarged prostates, even though they contain the exact same chemical. Your doctor could prescribe Proscar in place of Propecia for male pattern baldness and ask you to cut each pill in quarters, for a saving of 400 percent.
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.