Introduction: Hair loss is a common and distressing problem that can affect both males and females of all ages. Chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) is idiopathic diffuse scalp hair shedding of at least 6 months duration. Hair loss can be one of the symptoms of metal toxicity. Lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are highly toxic metals that can cause acute and chronic health problems in human. The aim of the present study is to determine if there is a relationship between these metals and CTE in women and if CTE is also associated with changes in zinc (Zn) or iron (Fe) blood levels.
Materials and methods: Pb, Cd, Fe and Zn total blood levels were determined in 40 female patients fulfilling the criteria of CTH and compared with total blood levels of same elements in 30 well-matched healthy women.
Results: Quantitative analysis of total blood Fe, Zn, Pb and Cd revealed that there were no significant differences between patients and controls regarding Fe, Zn, and Pb. Yet, Cd level was significantly higher in patients than controls. In addition, Cd level showed significant positive correlation with the patient's body weight.
Conclusion: Estimation of blood Pb and Cd levels can be important in cases of CTE as Cd toxicity can be the underlying hidden cause of such idiopathic condition.
Keywords: Cadmium; hair loss; iron; lead; telogen effluvium; zinc.