'Metabolic syndrome' and why it matters for those with genetic hair loss?


What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of medical issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and excess fat around the waist. Essentially many of the factors that are known to increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

It's been known for a while that individuals with androgenetic alopecia "AGA"  (also called male pattern balding and female pattern hair loss) are at increased risk to develop metabolic syndrome.  Researchers from China recently reviewed all of the studies relating to the issue. They identified four case-control studies and 2 cross-sectional studies including 950 AGA subjects and 3056 control subjects.

What were the results of the study?

The study showed that taken all together, AGA was significantly correlated with developing metabolic syndrome - in fact the risk was raised about three times.



The medical field has not yet embraced this concept and we have a lot of work left to do. There is good evidence now that men and women with AGA (especially early AGA are at risk to develop metabolic syndrome.  We urgently need to protocols ways to screen patients and identify those at highest risk. 



Wu Dx et al. [Association between androgenetic alopecia and metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis]. 2014 Sep 25;43(5):597-601.


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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