Is there a connection between baldness and heart disease?

Baldness affects between 30 to 40% of male adults in their early and Middle Ages and over 80% of men when they reach 80 years and above. 

While male pattern baldness can negatively affect a man’s confidence and self-esteem or sense of attractiveness, it has recently been associated with more health risks that require close attention than just a good winter hat.

In recent years, researchers have started to trace the link between baldness and heart problems like Coronary Heart Disease, CHD. Unfortunately, this condition is one of the major side effects of male pattern baldness. It cannot be remedied even by the strongest Rogaine.

In this post, we uncover the connection between male pattern baldness and heart-related problems. Read through to discover more.

What the researchers say about baldness and heart health

According to a 2013 study published on BMJ Open, men having male pattern baldness has 32% higher risks of developing Cardiac problems like the Coronary Artery Disease. 

The researchers looked at the Medicine and Cochrane library databases for medical findings published on the link between male baldness and heart diseases and found 850 potential studies published between 1950 and 2012.

Out of the possible 850 studies, only six were included in their examination because they were the only ones that met the eligibility criteria of the research. After synthesizing the six reports, researchers came up with the following conclusions about the link between male pattern baldness and Coronary Heart Disease.

  • There are high risks in younger men.

Out of the six studies, three were cohort reports where the wellbeing of balding males was closely monitored for over 11 years. These findings showed that men who lost a significant amount of their hair had 32% higher risks than their mates who maintained their full hair.

When this study was limited to men below 60 years, a contrasting pattern was revealed. Bald men had a 44% increased chance of developing coronary heart diseases. 

After assessing the other reports that compared the heart health of balding men and those with a full head of hair, they deduced similar results to the cohort reports.

The report showed that bald men had a 70% increased probability of having heart problems. This figure rose to 84% elevated risks in younger men.

  • The risks of heart problems depend on the severity of baldness.

During the investigation, the researchers used the Hamilton scale, also called the validated scale, to check the degree of baldness. The report showed that the degree of baldness had a significant impact on the development of Coronary Heart Disease only if the baldness is on the crown/top of the head, also known as the vertex. The risks increased by:

  • 18% in mild vertex baldness.
  • 36% in moderate vertex baldness.
  • 48% in extensive vertex baldness.

In an attempt to avoid the dissimilarities in the process of baldness evaluation during the investigation, the scientists looked at four different types of baldness known as none, crown/top, frontal, and combined.

Again, similar outcomes were realized. The severity of baldness had an impact on the probability of having coronary heart disease. 

Those with crown and frontal baldness have 69% increased chances of developing coronary heart diseases compared to those with a full head of hair. Men having only top/crown baldness had 52% high risks of having the disease, while those with frontal baldness had only 22% chances of developing the disease.

  • Hereditary or hormonal variations.

Men having severe crown baldness tend to have a higher quantity of male hormone receptors within their scalp than those having a full head of hair. Male hormone testosterone blocks the hair follicles leading to poor growth of high.

The male hormones and their active nature, dihydrotestosterone, have been linked to high blood pressure, increased risks of hardening and thickening of the arteries, abnormal cholesterol levels, and even fat deposits in the blood vessels leading to blockage, hence poor blood flow.

Besides, this hormone is the major reason men experience high risks of developing heart complications compared to women.

Despite these findings, there are different reasons behind the link, according to the authors of the study. However, there are possibilities that male pattern baldness may signal,

  • Increased testosterone sensitivity which leads to better sexual health
  • A condition of chronic scalp inflammation.
  • Resistance to insulin which is a precursor to diabetes.

Conclusion.

According to these findings, researchers have concluded that vertex baldness is highly linked to the development of Coronary Heart Disease than any other type of male pattern baldness. 

Therefore, the risks of developing heart complications should be carefully examined in men with vertex baldness, particularly in younger men.

To prevent the development of cardiovascular problems, young men should be encouraged to regularly go for cardiovascular risk profiling and restrain from other factors that can increase their chances of having heart problems.