Androgenetic Alopecia and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Jun;68(6):937-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2012.11.034. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Abstract

Background: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a genetically determined skin condition strongly age dependent and androgens are assumed to play an important role in its development. A link between AGA and prostate cancer has been hypothesized because of their similar risk factors.

Objective: We sought to systematically review the evidence available on the association between AGA and risk of prostate cancer.

Methods: We searched the electronic databases MEDLINE and Cochrane for studies examining the association between AGA and risk of prostate cancer. We estimated pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals. We also analyzed the OR for individual hair loss patterns, as defined by the Hamilton scale.

Results: A total of 7 case-control studies including 8994 patients-4078 cases and 4916 controls-were reviewed. One cohort study was identified but did not meet our inclusion criteria. There was statistically significant association between vertex baldness and prostate cancer (OR 1.25; 95% confidence interval 1.09-1.44; Z = 3.13; P = .002). No statistically significant association between AGA (any pattern) and prostate cancer was identified (OR 1.03; 95% confidence interval 0.93-1.13; Z = 0.55; P = .58).

Limitations: Only case-control studies, which may be subject to bias, met the inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis.

Conclusions: Vertex pattern AGA was associated with a significant increased risk of prostate cancer. Any pattern AGA did not show a significant increase in the risk of prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors