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Baldness linked to coronary heart disease, study finds

male pattern baldness

 (Paul Maguire)

Going bald may be more than just a frustrating sign of aging; it may also increase a man’s risk of heart disease.

A new study of nearly 37,000 Japanese men found that men who were balding were 32 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease than their full-haired counterparts, BBC News reported.

The researchers, however, noted that the risks were far less than those from smoking or obesity and that men should focus on losing weight rather than their thinning hair.

Published in the online journal BMJ Open, the study revealed that men who had hair going thin on the crown were more likely to have coronary heart disease.  However, men with receding hairlines did not have an increased risk.

"We found a significant, though modest, link between baldness, at least on the top of the head, and risk for coronary heart disease,” lead author Dr. Tomohide Yamada, of the University of Tokyo, told BBC News.

Yamada advised men who were experiencing hair loss on the top of their heads focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  

A reason for the connection between baldness and heart disease is still not fully understood.  Some doctors believe it involves an increased sensitivity to male hormones, insulin resistance and inflammation of blood vessels that affect both the heart and hair.

Click for more from BBC News.

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