Asian men who smoke may have increased risk for hair loss

Nov 19, 2007

Smoking may be associated with age-related hair loss among Asian men, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

“Androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary androgen-dependent disorder, is characterized by progressive thinning of the scalp hair defined by various patterns,” the authors write as background information in the article. “It is the most common type of hair loss in men.” Although risk for the condition is largely genetic, some environmental factors also may play a role.

Lin-Hui Su, M.D., M.Sc., of the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, and Tony Hsiu-Hsi Chen, D.D.S., Ph.D., of National Taiwan University, Taipei, surveyed 740 Taiwanese men age 40 to 91 (average age 65) in 2005. At an in-person interview, the men reported information about smoking, other risk factors for hair loss and if they had alopecia, the age at which they began losing their hair. Clinical classifications were used to assess their degree of hair loss, their height and weight were measured and blood samples were provided for analysis.

The men’s risk for hair loss increased with advancing age, but remained lower than the average risk among white men. “After controlling for age and family history, statistically significant positive associations were noted between moderate or severe androgenetic alopecia and smoking status, current cigarette smoking of 20 cigarettes or more per day and smoking intensity,” the authors write.

This association could be caused by several mechanisms, they note. Smoking may destroy hair follicles, damage the papilla that circulate blood and hormones to stimulate hair growth or increase production of the hormone estrogen, which may counter the effects of androgen.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: 'Ice Bucket Challenge' passes $100 mn mark

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New study charts the global invasion of crop pests

5 hours ago

Many of the world's most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a new study led by the University of Exeter.

Zambia lifts ban on safari hunting

6 hours ago

Zambia has lifted a 20-month ban on safari hunting because it has lost too much revenue, but lions and leopards will remain protected, the government said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

User comments : 0