Do Bald Men Have More Heart Attacks?Yes, and no. When you take all bald men and group them together, there really is no difference in heart attack risk. But when you start comparing sub-groups of bald men (like men with severe baldness or men with frontal-only baldness) you see an increase in the likelihood of a prior heart attack.
Baldness and Heart Attack Risk – Depends on Where You Go BaldA study of over 5,000 men examined baldness and heart attack risk. The study looked at men, their history of heart attacks and signs of baldness. Comparing bald men with non-bald men, researchers found little difference in the number of heart attacks when all bald men were grouped together and compared to all the non-bald men, but separating men by type and severity of baldness made a difference in the risk of heart attacks.
Type of Baldness Matters – Vertex or Frontal BaldnessThe men in the study were between ages 52 to 75. Most of the men with a previous heart attack (54%) had what researchers call “vertex baldness” or baldness that begins at the top of the head. About 30% of the men had no signs of baldness and 13% had frontal baldness only. The rest had a combination of frontal and vertex baldness.
When comparing the bald men, the men with frontal baldness had were 28% more likely to have had a heart attack in the past than men with other types of baldness. Is this confusing? Yes. Basically when men had frontal baldness only, they were more likely to have had a past heart attack than men with other types of balding. This type of baldness is in the minority. When you group all the bald men together, there is really no statistical difference in heart attack risk.
Baldness Severity Matters TooMen with severe baldness did worse than those with less severe baldness. Men with moderate vertex baldness were 20% more likely to have had a heart attack and severe cases were somewhat worse off. Oddly, baldness and tests of artery hardening were not linked.
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Source: Eyal Shahar, Gerardo Heiss, Wayne D. Rosamond, and Moyses Szklo. Baldness and Myocardial Infarction in Men: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Am. J. Epidemiol., 15 March 2008; 167: 676 - 683.
Eyal Shahar, Gerardo Heiss, Wayne D. Rosamond, and Moyses Szklo. Baldness and Myocardial Infarction in Men: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Am. J. Epidemiol., 15 March 2008; 167: 676 - 683.