Obesity and Hair Loss

There is more and more evidence that male balding is associated with an increased risk for heart disease.   Whether being overweight is associated with more severe balding is not clear.  

New Study in 142 men

Researchers in Taiwan explored whether there was a relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the severity of male balding. They studied 142 men (average at 31 years) with male pattern balding who were not using medicines for hair loss.   The researchers found that men with more severe  hair loss tended to be more overweight than men with less severe hair loss.  In fact,  men who were overweight or obese had an approximately 3.5 fold greater risk for severe hair loss than men with more normal weights. In addition, young overweight or obese men had a nearly 5 fold increased risk of severe hair loss

Overall, this study support the notion that being overweight might contribute in a negative manner to balding in men.  Further studies are needed to determine whether encouraging weight loss in obese patients could impact the rate of balding or the effectiveness of treatments for male balding.




Chao-Chun Y et al. Higher body mass index is associated with greater severity of alopecia in men with male-pattern androgenetic alopecia in Taiwan: A cross-sectional study.  J Am Acad Dermatol 10.1016/j/jaad.2013.09.036)

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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