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Arch Dermatol. 2001 Jul;137(7):943-7.

Baldness and coronary artery disease: the dermatologic point of view of a controversial issue.

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Department of Dermatology, Clinica Dermatologica, Viale Benedetto XV, 7, 16132 Genova, Italy.



Several articles, most of them written by nondermatologists, have stressed that bald men have a higher risk for coronary artery disease than men who are not bald. This study was performed to evaluate the validity of such conclusions from a dermatologic point of view.


A review of the 24 articles in literature from 1954 to 1999 as provided by MEDLINE and a previous review.


Five articles contained simple comments; 1 was a review of the previous literature; and 3 dealt only with the lipid profile. The remaining 15 articles dealt with coronary artery disease and baldness, and 9 of these concluded that there is a relationship between the 2 conditions, especially in younger subjects with severe early-onset androgenetic alopecia.


Baldness did not coincide with androgenetic alopecia in some of the articles examined, which makes it difficult to settle the issue. Subjects who develop baldness before their 30s may have a higher risk for coronary artery disease than other men, and they may be individuals with early-onset androgenetic alopecia who also present with particularly elevated dihydrotestosterone-testosterone ratios. The baldness theory should be included as a secondary hypothesis in large epidemiological studies of coronary artery disease. Such studies should include dermatologic expertise for accurate, cost-effective evaluation of baldness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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