Male pattern baldness, premature graying tied to heart disease risk

A study of more than 2,000 Indian men has linked male pattern baldness and premature graying to an increased risk for heart disease, the BBC reported this week.

The study, conducted by the European Society of Cardiology, will be presented at the Cardiological Society of India’s annual conference and focused on both healthy men and those with coronary artery disease (CAD). Researchers found that the group with CAD were 50 percent likely to have gone prematurely gray, compared to 30 percent likelihood in the non-CAD cohort.

Men with heart disease were also 5.6 times more likely than those without to exhibit male pattern baldness, according to the study.

“This study suggests that identifying men with premature hair loss and graying may help identify those with an increased risk of developing heart disease,” Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, told the BBC. “However, this isn’t something that people can change, whereas you can modify your lifestyle and risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure. These are far more important things to consider.”