Shorter Men Have Increased Risk of Premature Baldness

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Shorter Men Have Increased Risk of Premature Baldness
Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach and Prof. Markus Nöthen from the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Bonn, in collaboration with colleagues, identified over 60 alterations in the human genome that increase the risk of premature hair loss. Some of them are also associated with illnesses such as prostate cancer or characteristics such as small body size. Credit: © Foto: Andreas Stein/Institut für Humangenetik

A quarter of all men are either bald or going bald by age 30. Bald men often feel ashamed and inferior. Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition whereas hair loss caused by a variety of factors. But according to a new study, shorter men go bald more often. They have increased the risk of Premature Baldness.

Scientists from the University of Bonn show that the premature baldness is linked to a range of various physical characteristics and illnesses.

Previous studies suggested that men with premature baldness suffer from heart diseases and prostate cancer somewhat more often. But this new study suggests that it also links to other characteristics and illnesses.

The study also focused on biological causes of hair loss by identifying the genes involved. Although, Immune and fat cells in the scalp are also the causes.

The human geneticist Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach said, “We were thus able to find 63 alterations in the human genome that increase the risk of premature hair loss. Some of these alterations were also found in connection with other characteristics and illnesses. For example, reduced body size, an earlier occurrence of puberty and various cancers.”

By analyzing data from 11,000 men with premature baldness and 12,000 men with no hair loss, scientists found the link between hair loss and an increased risk of prostate cancer. The link with heart disease is much more complicated.

Professor Markus Nöthen said, “We have also found links to light skin color and increased bone density. These could show that men with hair loss are better able to use sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. They could also explain why white men, in particular, lose their hair prematurely.”

“However, men with premature hair loss do not need to be concerned. The risks of illness are only increased slightly. It is, however, exciting to see that hair loss is by no means an isolated characteristic but instead displays various relationships with other characteristics.”