Risk factors and lipid metabolism characteristics of early-onset male androgenetic alopecia: A pilot study

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2024 May 13. doi: 10.1111/jocd.16371. Online ahead of print.


Background: Male androgenetic alopecia (MAA) is a multifactorial disease, with patients presenting at a younger age, which is a risk factor for many metabolic diseases.

Aims: To explore the risk factors associated with early-onset of MAA and its metabolic characteristics.

Methods: Forty patients with MAA and 45 healthy controls were collected. The serum levels of fasting blood glucose (FBG), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total testosterone (TT), uric acid (UA), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were measured. Meanwhile, lipid metabolites were detected by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS).

Results: 37.50% MAA patients had metabolic syndrome, compared to 17.78% in control group (p < 0.05). The levels of HDL-C, UA, and 25(OH)D were decreased in patients with MAA compared to healthy controls (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in the level of TT between the two groups. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the levels of HDL-C, UA, 25(OH)D, and TT among different grades of hair loss (p > 0.05). The lipid profile of early-onset MAA differed significantly from healthy controls. In early-onset MAA, the levels of ceramide (Cer) and sphingomyelin (SM) were significantly lower. Cer(d38:5) and TG(15:0/18:1/18:1) may be the biomarkers.

Conclusion: Low HDL-C, UA, and 25(OH)D may be the independent risk factors for early-onset MAA. Abnormal lipid metabolism was observed in early-onset MAA, wherein Cer and SM may serve as protective factors.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; ceramide; lipid; risk factor.