Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Health and Baldness

While for many men, the main impact of baldness is psychological — especially when hair loss begins prematurely in a man's early 20s — there are some physiological downsides to the process. Hair loss quite obviously causes an uptick in a man's risk for skin cancer of the scalp.

More unusually, though, researchers have linked male pattern baldness to an increased incidence of heart disease, hypertension, and high levels of cholesterol. This study found risk of heart attack increased along with spreading baldness on the crown of the head. Another study, which involved 250 men between 35 and 65, found those with a blood pressure reading above 120 over 80 (average) had double the risk of hair loss compared to those without hypertension. And past research has consistently linked excessive hair loss to cholesterol levels. Importantly, in all these cases the doctors say the link between baldness and heart health may be obvious but the underlying reasons are not.

While the experts claim these effects may be due to either excess testosterone or to genes, one thing is certain: Men who experience hair loss should begin watching their blood pressure and cholesterol and overall protecting heart health.

If you begin to lose your hair, read it as a visible sign to begin saving your life. Time to change: quit smoking, curb your drinking, and start an exercise and diet program to promote heart health.

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