Thinning Hair May Put You at Risk for This Disease

Balding Heart Diesease Risks

Hair thinning out a bit up top? Pay attention. There’s a lot more on the line here than just vanity. Much more…

Your very life may be at risk.

Researchers from Japan just published a study in the online journal BMJ Open.1 They reviewed data from six studies that followed a total of nearly 37,000 men for a minimum of 11 years. After reviewing all the data, researchers concluded that men who lost most of their hair were 32 percent more likely to suffer from this common—but deadly—disease. They also found that the specific type of baldness  a man had played a role.

It turns out, men who had both frontal and crown-top baldness had a 69 percent increased risk. Those who only had crown-top baldness were 52 percent at risk. And men with just frontal baldness had a 22 percent disease risk. Meanwhile, a receding hairline turned out not to increase risk at all.2

But what did the lack of hair put these men at risk for?

Heart disease.

Researchers admit this may be a modest link, but men who have hair loss should take it as a warning…You probably want to pay special attention to your heart. And the time to start is now.3

Hair loss is common, especially as men age. By 50, half of men already have thinning hair. And by age 70, 80 percent have some sort of hair loss.

There are no other studies to confirm a definitive link. But researchers think baldness may be linked to insulin resistance and inflammation in blood vessels. These issues can both affect heart health.

A Danish study analyzed 10,885 people.4 They also found an increased risk for heart disease in people who were balding. They presented their findings last November at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting.

They found that people who had three or four specific signs of aging were 39 percent more at risk to develop heart disease and 57 percent more likely to have a heart attack. The aging signs included baldness, receding hairlines, fatty deposits around the eyelids, and creased earlobes.

These are small things that creep up slowly without us noticing. That’s why it’s important to take the time to really look at yourself. Don’t just note changes in your hairline, but in your skin color and texture. Paying a little extra attention gives you a chance to correct it before it gets out of hand. Also, make sure you mention anything you find to your doctor.

“Looking old for your age is a good marker for poor cardiovascular health,” confirms study lead author Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen.

Unfortunately, you can’t control hereditary hair loss. But you can control other factors that may put you at risk for heart disease. Eating a healthy, paleo-style diet with plenty of lycopene-rich foods, regular intense exercise, and keeping inflammation in check all help you slash your heart disease risk.

If you have hair loss it wouldn’t hurt to get checked out. Especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Better safe than sorry.

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Health Topic: Anti-Aging | Heart and Cardiovascular


  1. Lynda Guggenheim says:

    Pattern balding is distinct from alopecia areata, which commonly involves patchy hair loss. Extreme forms of alopecia areata are alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, and the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body.

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