The association of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in early androgenetic alopecia

Singapore Med J. 2010 Dec;51(12):931-6.


Introduction: Insulin resistance (IR), hyperinsulinaemia and concomitant metabolic syndrome (MS) are known to be independent risk factors for coronary arterial disease (CAD). The aim of this study was to examine the frequency of IR, hyperinsulinaemia and MS in individuals with early androgenetic alopecia (AGA).

Methods: The Hamilton-Norwood scale was used to grade AGA. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance formula was used to detect IR, and a value above 2.7 was considered to show IR. According to the National Cholesterol Education Programme Adult Treatment Panel III-2001 diagnosis criteria, patients with three or more positive criteria were considered to have MS.

Results: In this study, we evaluated 80 patients with early AGA and 48 healthy participants. The serum level of insulin was higher in patients with early AGA compared to the healthy participants, although not significantly. IR was detected in 25 patients with early AGA and in six healthy participants. The difference between the groups was statistically significant. Although 20 patients with AGA were diagnosed with MS, it was only diagnosed in five healthy participants. The occurrence of MS was significantly higher in the AGA group than in the control group.

Conclusion: The prevalence of IR and MS was observed to have increased in early AGA patients. Hence, patients with early AGA should be followed up for CAD in the long term. Our results should be confirmed with prospective studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / complications*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Testosterone
  • Cholesterol