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Bald Men More Likely to Develop Heart Risk, Study Finds

Update Date: Apr 04, 2013 12:55 AM EDT

Bald men are at greater risk of having heart problems than those who retain a full head of hair, according to researchers in Japan, but only those with hair loss on top of their heads, and not at the front, are affected.

The study, published in the online journal BMJ Open, said balding men were 32 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease.  No link to heart disease was found for men with a receding hairline, said the researchers, who reviewed evidence from six studies with a total of almost 37,000 participants. 

Researchers at the University of Tokyo's department of diabetes and metabolic diseases said men, who had just crown-top hair loss, or vertex baldness, were 52 percent more likely to have a heart attack compared to those with a full head of hair.

"The present meta-analysis provided useful evidence regarding the potential influence of baldness on coronary heart disease," the authors said in the research paper. "Patients and physicians should consider the possibility that baldness is associated with an increased risk."

The study encourages men who are losing their hair to get checked out by a doctor, concluded the research team, which was led by Dr. Tomohide Yamada, a researcher in the department of diabetes and metabolic diseases in the graduate school of medicine at the University of Tokyo.

Men with vertex baldness, especially younger men, should get any cardiovascular risk factors examined by a doctor, Yamada said.

"We recommend adapting a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes a low fat diet, exercise and less stress [since] classical coronary risk factors such as age, hypertension, dislipidaemia and smoking might influence both conditions," he said.

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