Low iron stores: a risk factor for excessive hair loss in non-menopausal women

Eur J Dermatol. Nov-Dec 2007;17(6):507-12. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2007.0265. Epub 2007 Oct 19.


Iron deficiency has been suspected to represent one of the possible causes of excessive hair loss in women. The aim of our study was to assess this relationship in a very large population of 5110 women aged between 35 and 60 years. Hair loss was evaluated using a standardized questionnaire sent to all volunteers. The iron status was assessed by a serum ferritin assay carried out in each volunteer. Multivariate analysis allowed us to identify three categories: "absence of hair loss" (43%), "moderate hair loss" (48%) and "excessive hair loss" (9%). Among the women affected by excessive hair loss, a larger proportion of women (59%) had low iron stores (< 40 microg/L) compared to the remainder of the population (48%). Analysis of variance and logistic regression show that a low iron store represents a risk factor for hair loss in non-menopausal women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / blood*
  • Alopecia / epidemiology
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / complications*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood*
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenopause / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Hemoglobins
  • Ferritins