Androgenetic alopecia as an indicator of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk

Blood Press. 2016 Jun;25(3):141-8. doi: 10.3109/08037051.2015.1111021. Epub 2015 Nov 20.


Numerous studies have investigated a probable association between androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) by researching limited and dispersed parameters. We aimed to evaluate both traditional and non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors in male patients with early-onset AGA. This case-control study included 68 participants: 51 male patients with early-onset AGA and 17 healthy male controls. Patients with AGA were classified into three groups according to the Hamilton-Norwood scale and the presence of vertex hair loss. Traditional and non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors were examined in all study subjects. Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 25 patients with AGA and in two control subjects (p < 0.05). The carotid intima-media thickness values were found to be significantly higher in patients with vertex pattern AGA than in patients without vertex baldness and controls (p < 0.05). The pulse-wave velocity values were also found to be significantly higher in patients (p < 0.001). A limitation of this study was the small study population. In conclusion, vertex pattern AGA appears to be a marker for early atherosclerosis. This finding supports the hypothesis that early-onset AGA alone could be an independent risk factor for CVD and metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; arterial stiffness; cardiovascular risk factors; carotid intima–media thickness; insulin resistance; metabolic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / complications*
  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Alopecia, Androgenetic, 2
  • Alopecia, Androgenetic, 3