With the National Institute of Health reporting that more than 50 percent of men will suffer some form of hair loss by age 50, it’s no wonder that men frequently try to determine what their personal health risk is for androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is the formal name for the most common type of hair loss in men. From considering the history of hair loss on both mother’s and father’s side to listening to old wives’ tales relating stories of hair loss and hairiness elsewhere, men want to anticipate any potential problem and act to counter it as soon as possible.
To add one more possible sign to the list – short men are more prone to losing their hair. That’s one of the takeaways from an international genetic study by the University of Bonn in Germany. As reported in Nature Communications, the meta-analysis of men from seven countries, 11,000 with premature hair loss and 12,000 men with full heads of hair, provided new insight into the risk for and related issues to male-pattern baldness. Unfortunately for those who are height challenged, a man’s physical stature is relevant.
Hair Loss Stereotypes
Yes, the stereotype of the short guy with thinning hair – think Danny DeVito, George Costanza from Seinfeld (played by Jason Alexander), Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride), Verne Troyer (the Austin Powers franchise), marketing guru Seth Godin, David Cross (Arrested Development), etc. – is a cliché. Yet the University of Bonn research indicates it’s true.
Now, obviously, tall men can also lose their hair as basketball stars like Karem Abdul-Jabber, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O’Neal show. The global study investigated the genetic material of the participants and found that hair loss is related to certain physical traits, such as height, and a variety of illnesses.
Link Between Hair Loss, Heart Disease, and Cancer
Prior studies have verified a link between men with male pattern hair loss and a tendency toward heart disease as well as a higher risk for prostate cancer. In fact, studies have shown that men with male pattern hair loss have a 32 percent higher risk for coronary artery disease and that by age 45, men experiencing hair loss have a 40 percent greater risk of prostate cancer.
Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach told Science Daily that “We were thus able to identify 63 alterations in the human genome that increase the risk of premature hair loss. Some of these alterations were also found in connection with other characteristics and illnesses, such as reduced body size, earlier occurrence of puberty, and various cancers.”
So while short stature in men could be an indicator of future hair loss, the researchers say that men should not lose sleep over the prospect or possible health conditions. Dr. Markus Nöthen, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Bonn said that the risk of increased illness is small but the relationship between hair loss and other characteristics is exciting.
The Robotic Hair Transplant Solution with ARTAS®
If you’re starting to show signs of male pattern hair loss/androgenetic alopecia, contact the experts in hair loss at RHRLI. Hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Baiju Gohil, has a state-of-the-art facility using the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System. Contact RHRLI for a free hair analysis with Dr. Gohil himself to assess whether robotic hair restoration is appropriate for you!