Alopecia and the metabolic syndrome

Clin Dermatol. Jan-Feb 2018;36(1):54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2017.09.009. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Hair loss is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. It can exist as an isolated problem or with other diseases and conditions. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and its association with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) have received increasing interest since 1972, when the first link between cardiovascular risk factors and hair loss was raised. We have reviewed studies concerning the relationship between alopecia and MetS. Many studies have investigated the relationship among AGA and MetS and its individual components, particularly in men, where a disproportionately large number of these studies supports this association. AGA has also been associated with other metabolic-related conditions, including coronary artery disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing syndrome, as well as several nutritional deficiencies, all of which have led to many clinicians advocating for the screening of MetS and cardiovascular risk factors in patients who present with AGA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / complications*
  • Avitaminosis / complications
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cushing Syndrome / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Risk Factors