Hair Loss, Graying Hair and Heart Disease

For a long time, I have had a post on the back burner discussing how people with hair loss are more likely to suffer from a number of major health problems. For a blog that is generally highly optimistic, I was (in a twisted sense) looking forward to finally writing an entirely negative post so as to please the 1-2 percent of regular readers who only seem to want to see negativity and pessimism in everything. I do try to make everyone who visits this blog feel engaged, including those who seem to genuinely get their daily highs from bad news (or not sufficiently “good enough good news”) and subsequent venting.

Today’s big news of the day (see further below) finally pushed me into finalizing and publishing this pessimistic post. However, I ended up deciding to only focus on heart disease or else the post became way too lengthy. Perhaps I will discuss the other medical afflictions that correlate positively with male pattern hair loss in Christmas?

Being a smart aleck aside, the main reason for writing this post is to encourage the male readers of this blog to get a heart checkup and try to keep key risk factors such as blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, glucose levels and triglycerides in check.

Hair Loss, Prematurely Graying Hair and Heart Disease

Over the years there have been a number of studies from around the world (e.g., this one from Japan in 2013) that have concluded that men who suffer from heart disease are also much more likely to suffer from male pattern hair loss. Today comes news of yet another such study, this time examining 2,060 young men below the age of 40 in India (with the study undertaken by the European Society of Cardiology). 790 of the study participants suffered from coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as heart disease. BBC and various other major networks have covered this important development.

The researchers found that 50 percent of the men who suffered from CAD also suffered from prematurely graying hair, while a significantly less 30 percent of the men without graying hair had CAD. A similar correlation was found between those who suffered from male pattern hair loss versus those who did not and their respective heart disease rates (49 percent versus 27 percent). However, even more shocking:

“After adjusting for age and other cardiovascular risk factors, male-pattern baldness was associated with a 5.6 times greater risk of coronary artery disease and premature greying was associated with a 5.3 times greater risk”.

Heart Disease and Male Hormones

It seems like testosterone and/or dihydrotestosterone impact both male hair quality and male heart health negatively in those with the relevant bad genes (with inflammation also involved in both conditions). It does not seem like women have this problem, probably due to their producing far less amounts of male hormones (plus the heart protective effects of estrogen in their younger years).

I should, however, note that my 98 year old grandmother still has at least 75 percent of her scalp hair pigmented and absolutely no signs of heart disease. Perhaps when they do such a study on women, they might also find similar correlations, albeit not as strong as in men?

Earlier age hair loss and hair graying are a sign of overall rapid body ageing in some (but definitely far from all) people. In the latest BBC article that I linked to above, one of the scientists quoted suggests that DNA damage from ageing was a potential reason for early onset hair loss, early onset hair graying and early onset heart disease. Of course there are many people who go bald or grey very early and live to be over a 100 with no signs of heart disease…probably because they have certain genetic protections (e.g., high HDL “good” cholesterol levels) towards heart disease.

Celebrities with Premature Graying or Balding

Whenever I think of prematurely graying celebrities, the first name that comes to my mind is CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who went grey in his 30s, and entirely white in his 40s. He has mentioned in a number of interviews about how he misses his darker brown hair.

Anderson Cooper Grey Hair

Mr. Cooper is currently 50 years old and seems extremely healthy. However, while researching this post, I found out that Mr. Cooper’s father died at 50…from heart disease. I wonder if the father also had grey hair at the time of his death? Hopefully Mr. Cooper is keeping his blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and triglyceride levels in check.

Patrick Stewart Bald

Also of note, Patrick Stewart (a hero for many balding men), is still going strong at the age of 77 despite going bald at 19. Something he describes as traumatic in this interview.

92 thoughts on “Hair Loss, Graying Hair and Heart Disease”

  1. More than one study confirmed that baldness and graying at an early age, especially hair growth in the ear is marked and long enough indicator of heart disease

  2. I started noticing hair loss at age 20 and gray hair at 27. I’m 34 now so i now have significant hair loss and a lot of white in my beard and sideburns. However, I do also have a syndrome known as “Gilbert’s Syndrome” which is a genetic condition where you have a higher than normal amount of bilirubin in your blood. However, not only is Gilbert’s Syndrome not associated with any major complications, but it is also strongly associated with cardio protection. Apparently, excess bilirubin in the blood acts as an antioxidant in your blood vessels and arteries and people with the syndrome are far less likely to suffer from heart disease. However, my Dad does have atrial fibrillation (but not Gilbert’s) so who knows what’ll happen to me.

    1. LOL
      Exact the same goes for me (hairloss early 20s, but just 26) and having this bilirubin condition. Also read about the potential benevolent effects on cardio.

      1. Make it 4 of us ! Hair loss at 20 , high bilirubin ! Both run in my moms side of family ! No one ever had any heart issues either !

    2. Jesus man, SAME HERE. i havent been diagnosed with Gilbert’s syndrome but my bilirubin is hight too. What a coincidence that 3 of us have that?!?

    3. Count me in, 19 – onset of hairloss, since 25 – greying of <100 hair on sideburns/temples area and goatee. Still good coverage but maintaining-shedding at demonic balance haha (fin..). Thank you for your bilirubin input, didn't know about this common disease.

  3. ” the 1-2 percent of regular readers who only seem to want to see negativity and pessimism in everything” Admin, since this post is on the correlation of things, do you see a correlation of these 1-2 percenters and the guys who get side effects from everything, even if they haven’t tried it? 🙂
    On another note, I’ll be 55 in 9 days, started losing my hair at 17, graying at 35, hypertension runs in the family on both sides and I have borderline BP. However, due to a healthy lifestyle (gym, cycling, hot yoga, what I eat…and yeah I’m not not some vegan, gluten free nut job) I have stayed off meds and the models show I have a 1-2% chance of a heart attack in 10 years…I bet anybody has that. Take care of your body and your mind and it will take care of you…Yoda out!

  4. Admin thanks for posting the link to Patrick Stewart’s interview.

    I had always heard how baldness affected him but never actually got to hear him speak about it and tell his story.

    Even though I sit here with a sore head from weekly dermarolling it’s still comforting to hear someone else speak on their own experiences and how they came to accept it, even with the help of friends.

    1. “Unfortunately”, that study represents very good news 🙁

      I was in a bad news kind of mood for once and had to pick the heart disease story.

  5. @admin: Please read the thread in HLT. It is a very interesting thread and can a new treatments in a few months. On the other hand dermrafok also seems to think that Minoxidil and Finasteride are old treatments with a low effectiveness … And claims the need that there is in the market for new treatments for the treatment of MPB.

    Do you have any new news about new treatments? Lately I see you with little activity when it comes to impressive news.

    https://www.hairlosstalk.com/interact/threads/scalp-threading-with-polydioxanone-monofilament-threads-a-novel-effective-and-safe-modality.110115/

    GREAT BLOG.

    1. Did you read my second last post in detail Paul…it is very impressive news and you probably missed it:-) One of the top 5-10 items of the year.

      And also the news from my November 7th post if you missed that.

      Can’t get much better news than that in one month 🙂

  6. Study looks good. Only concern I have is that the guy wasn’t a nw3. More like nw1 with center diffuse. Probably thyroid or deficiency. We need to see mpb nw4 with bald spot crown and receded temples. Show us regrowth on that. Either way it did grow lots of hair so thats promising..

  7. Mjones and all: I disagree with your diagnosis of thyroid deficiency with the guy shown in the study. My hair started falling out in a similiar pattern and I’ve never been diagnosed with thyroid issues. If you look online you will see some other sites where two more pics are shown. As I mentioned before, there was clear improvement, a good 20% increase in density. This is something to be excited about mjones. Get your head out of the sand please as this will boost many scalps.

    1. Tom bro…relax I didn’t say this was junk or ineffective. I said the growth was great. I’m just not sure if it will have the same effect for mpb classic pattern loss temples and crown. Can you please provide the links to pics where this worked on normal pattern loss. I am very curious to see it. Plus this is a type of treatment that wouldn’t require fda. It looks like acupuncture style haha. Fingers crossed this can be provided to us in 2018 at ht clinics or derm offices. Seems like a routine procedure.

  8. I see the same center diffuse guy and the two pictures on the first page without the after results. Just some blonde dude with needles in his head and a nw4 guy. Where are his after pics?

  9. From someone who had their Ph.D in human physiology when I took advanced physiology….it is a joke in human physiology, if you grey before 30, you are more likely to have thyroid issues down the road.

  10. Just saw the pictures. I wouldn’t call it impressive by any means for the vertex pic that the journal implies. I like the nw3 guy growth. That one is better. I still think this is better for non mpb hair loss. The pic of the crown looks odd. Skin is tanner darker in the after pic. Why can’t they just shoot pics in the same conditiions? Oh that’s right because they want to exaggerate the effects and results lol. We need more pics to clearly accept or dismiss this for mpb.

  11. Tom. Looks impressive mate, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone getting needles in their scalp every god knows when? I’ve tried PRP for example. Although this is a different procedure to your link, the reality is-it’s a pain in the arse. It doesn’t tickle either. (It also doesn’t work. Ha) The anesthesia injections are the little bastards that hurt-a numbing cream would’ve been great!!!! They are first injected into your forehead and right around your entire lower scalp. Your eyes water like hell. This is all prior to the PRP injections themselves. You can’t feel those because your whole head is like a dome of solid numbness. Then you get the adrenaline shakes and nausea. You also end up looking like Frankenstein’s monster for several hours afterwards. Lots of dried blood in the hair too. You have to wear a hat post-procedure so you don’t scare the kiddies on the way home. It aint’ pleasant to say the least. The hole in your pocket is even worse. (More fool me!) If it really worked and was only needed once a year, then I guess it would be worth it. I imagine the ongoing costs involved with this treatment would be costly?! Just food for thought. Appreciate the link anyway.

  12. @SUMMYKIM sounds like your prp treatment was outdated. I get prp and it is by no means a great treatment but is almost painless. My Dr. Uses some type of cooling device like liquid nitrogen or something that cools the area as he injects the prp. Seriously there is no pre prp anesthesia and like I said pretty much painless. Just wished it helped more.

    1. Ha, ha yeah, for all I know my doctor was hammering frigging nails into my head.
      It doesn’t help living in Australia either. Nearly everything is outdated! Our internet speeds are slower than a week in jail.
      Anyway, hope something really effective comes along soon (and doesn’t cost a fortune) so we can ditch all this stuff that only slightly works or is just plain useless..

      1. @summykim if you are lucky enough to have full but very thin coverage then buy some hair fibre spray from Toppik. 30 dollars a can, 5 minutes to apply, up to 50% extra density definitely and immediately. Unlike all the other medieval chemistry alternatives it does not cost a fortune, you don’t have to wait months for a possible result and seeing that result won’t require a microscope. I do this plus finasteride so I don’t lose any more hair otherwise the Toppik won’t stick to anything.

          1. Thanks I already looked at both Italian forums…I meant any forum threads where they discuss the March release date? I did not find.

              1. JimiPage ha scritto:

                Scusate se non ho risposto subito, vorrei ribadire che non pubblico su altri forum perchĂ© ho sempre seguito questo. Per Marlin : La notizia non Ăš “ufficiale” sinchĂ© non la pubblicherĂ  la Fidia ovviamente ma questo mi pare scontato dirlo. Questa informazione mi Ăš stata data in seguito a infinite pressioni da parte mia ad una persona molto vicina al dottore e che ha numerosi contatti con l’azienda. Questa persona mi ha detto una data di uscita , io le credo ma potrebbe anche avermi detto una data non corretta. Mi ha tranquillizzato sulla veridicitĂ . Capisco lo scetticismo io non ho mai scritto qui da voi e la mia parola non vale nulla. A marzo vedremo se mi Ăš stata detta una notizia vera o sono stato preso per i fondelli pure io.

                1. can someone plz confirm what IS confirmed so to speak?

                  i.e. the date is hearsay and quite potentially utter BS, but what new news about it IS there?

  13. @admin – I am reading this from China and you may be pleased to know that unlike my other favourite sites this one is not blocked. Also, Patrick Stewart is mentioned above. When the Star Trek series with Patrick Stewart was first launched one of the journalists in the room at the pre launch asked the creator in front of everyone including Patrick why a sci fi series in 24th century would have a bald character. Surely they would have cured it by now. He responded by saying that by the 24th century humanity had evolved and nobody would care. Just something to consider I suppose

    1. Yes that is exactly what is mentioned in the youtube video that I have linked in the post too! Make sure to watch it unless it was blocked.

      And thanks for the China update Scott:-)

      1. @admin sorry but YouTube is blocked just like Facebook. The most resembling Chinese equivalent is youku but you then have to install some software that my crap Windows phone won’t run.

  14. When it comes to gray/white hair, has anyone else noticed how as a precursor the hair color fades over a number of years to a much duller and cooler tone than that of our youth? The same goes for eye color and skin tone as well; the warm, rich tones of youth are slowly replaced by cooler, duller tones. My beard used to be brilliantly reddish and now it’s mostly dull brownish gray with white mixed in. I realize this is more of a normal aging issue but when it comes to the whitening/graying of hair, it seems to affect the tone and texture of the skin/eyes as well. I wish something could be done about it; I have an extremely healthy lifestyle but it does not seem to help such a huge cosmetic issue that can’t be hidden in a natural-looking way. I know I’d look way younger if my hair did.

    1. I would prefer grey hair to the horrid mouse brown colour that replaced my former blonde hair from the age of 9. As for pale skin, don’t be so ashamed. The elite in India especially the Bollywood film stars take melanin blockers to get lighter skin.

  15. 2018 is upon us. The year we put hairloss behind us and make it a thing of the past.

    Aclaris is doing a Phase 2 (it must work but how well to be determined). I expect news from them, and if good news, with photos by June.

    We are almost done. This blog will not exist in 6 months. Admin has done an incredible job and I think helped to enlightened researchers and helped to push for our hopeful news in ~June.

  16. This blog is turning out to be like the stock market —pessimists vs optimists — except nothing really changes. 2018 is upon us and nothing has changed.

    1. Good find. The claim of gaining five years worth of hair back is silly though. We probably will get “Brotzu lotion” soon and it probably won’t be effective.

      1. Thanks. Yeah have to say whilst I am reserving judgement due to the involvement of Fidia, which lends credibility…..I can’t help but feel the same way, it’s going to be a disappointment

  17. As a disappointed optimist, I wouldn’t think it could be any worse than the expensive Turkish d*** cream that came out earlier this year?! I haven’t laughed so hard since Britney Spears shaved her head and attacked a car with an umbrella. (Although, I hope it worked for someone?) Try and remain positive. I understand the misery of hairloss. It’s f@*%ed, but you never know what Santa might put in the stocking one day. Merry Xmas to *admin and all.

  18. The amount they dont know easily trumps what they do especially with hair loss where it feels like no one knows much of anything.
    The amount of old women with nearly all their hair like teenage NW 1 compare to men is just astounding. Nothing comes close to explaining it except hormones IMO which perfectly fits with male hormones causing baldness. Women go bald if injected with male hormones. Castrated men dont go bald. All the pieces fit.
    Although we know its much more complicated after male hormones start to rob you.

  19. It’s not optimism but what is expected.

    Aclaris is trying JAK’s for AGA in first few months in 2018. It only takes a 6 weeks to See or Not See the results. Their product saturates the lower skin levels and should make all the difference in the world.

    In months hair loss will belong in the dust bin of history. Long live hair.

    Early 2018 we get the announcement.

    1. Nasa_rs,

      Although I share the same optimism like you in relation to jaks, we cannot claim that the cure is almost in hand. Jaks have the potential to save us all; but this can only be ascertained once the trials are concluded.

  20. Nasa lol. You better be right playa! 🙂 As for brontzu, if it ends up working and brings back 5 years worth hair and stops further loss then I will laugh..plus this will make the major players like follica, histogen, replicel tsuji, sm look like morons.

    1. Mjones it will work. The AA went from bald to full set of hair destroying about 5 misnomers in the process. That hair follicles were no longer complete, that once hair was gone it was dead. But still from bald for decades to full set of hair.

      Get Ready.

  21. Prediction: in approximately 6 months a brotzu lotion will be released. It will make a significant amount of $ due to the hype that has occurred for some time now. Most users will claim that it is ineffective with a few saying it is slowing down their hairloss and occasional person saying it helps with regrowth. After some time it will be determined that the “original” formula is far more effective however due to regulations it is not available. Hope I’m wrong but I’m pretty good at seeing where things are headed.

  22. Check this out : https://m.imgur.com/a/m62S5

    This was taken at hair loss congress. Study was done in 1990!! I think if researchers actually cared we would all have full heads of hair now. That is impressive regrowth on mpb!! Why hasn’t this been trialed since 1990. Why did no pharmaceutical company push this for AGA. Very shady. Another proof of how these pharmaceutical companies will only release lousy treatments instead of a cure. This should have been breaking news at the time. I bet nasa is right. Jak full regrowth but it will just be shelved to only release a picture in 2045. F it.

    1. “Common side effects include high blood pressure, headache, kidney problems, increased hair growth, and vomiting. Other severe side effects include an increased risk of infection, liver problems, and an increased risk of lymphoma. Blood levels of the medication should be checked to decrease the risk of side effects.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclosporin

      Not sure FDA is willing to accept those sides for aesthetic…

  23. News from Brotzu/Fidia.
    Thw patent status was updated today. Their are intending for the final patent approval. It is the final step in the process. It seems that the March release is true.
    Furthermore a very reliable person who is some kind of involved in the release of this product, is also very optimistic and happy about the current update from today.
    Only a few months left. @admin are you still optimistic concerning this lotion or did you change your opinion?

  24. has anyone tried topical finasteride in Canada? I’m curious to but kind of want to wait for there to be some trials on it. This is what we should focus on at the moment since it could help us for the next five years starting almost immediately if it is at least as effective as the oral fin. with minimal side effects and if it does not leave your scalp looking all greasy…

  25. I have to agree with Tom on this regarding brontzu. No point to get all excited if they haven’t shown us how effective it is. Once we see pics of good regrowth then we should celebrate. This will go either way…nice regrowth and maintenance or complete snake oil that does nothing.

    1. Mjones and why do you not apply the same thinking in Nipon research? They norhing! No pontos! Norhing! They give us the data to exit to market and nothing about PICs..
      Brotzu have a doctor that show photos and say that will work. Other not.
      Brotzu lotion is the only treatment possible to get in to the market in the near futuro.
      Hope that really work like he said!

  26. Pigment epithelium-derived factor short peptides facilitate full-thickness cutaneous wound healing by promoting epithelial basal cell and hair follicle stem cell proliferation.

    A previous study by our group showed that a 44-amino-acid fragment of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) facilitated corneal epithelial wound healing. In the present study this fragment was shortened to obtain peptides of 18, 20 and 29 amino acids in length, and their promoting effects on the healing of full-thickness skin wounds were assessed. Peptides were delivered periodically by topical application to punch wounds of mice. The wound healing speed was evaluated by measuring the reduction of wound areas at 4 and 7 days after injury. Histological analysis with Masson’s trichrome staining was used to confirm epithelialization and dermal collagen deposition. Proliferation of epithelial basal cells was documented by 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine incorporation. Hair follicle stem cells were identified by immunostaining for leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor 6. The results indicated that the 20- and 29-amino-acid short peptides significantly reduced the time required for wound healing compared to the vehicle. Histological analysis confirmed faster epithelial cell coverage of open wounds. Treatment with the PEDF peptide fragments also contributed to granulation, tissue formation by increasing the fibroblast population and enhancing collagen deposition in the dermis. Wounds treated with PEDF peptide fragments contained more basal cells proliferated in the epithelium. Moreover, hair follicle stem cells were also stimulated to proliferate by peptide exposure. In conclusion, the present study reported the identification of two short peptides that can enhance the healing of full-thickness skin wounds following topical application. The underlying mechanisms may involve activation of basal cell proliferation and mobilization of hair follicle stem cells.

  27. Here is my fear with brontzu lotion;
    We still dont know for sure that this is for AGA or just AA. Im betting( and i hope im wrong) that if this gets released in march its not at all effective for AGA, regardless of what the original study claimed.
    All ive seen or heard is that this has been used on children or women folk, the only male who claimed to use it was the mysterious BEPS.
    Did the updated patent specifically say its for use on MEN with AGA?
    Please tell me it does?

    1. I believe you youre correct Chris2, it just seems I’ve heard way more antidotal evidence with this for AA, that’s why I’m so doubtful.

  28. I say we all stop speculating on brontzu. Let’s just see what fidia says and not some poster on an Italian forum. Once fidia makes an announcement that this is for aga and release date then we can start the sht storm speculations of the effectiveness then be disappointed that it grow 7 vellous hairs and slight darkening of weak follicles then 4 months later it stops working.

    1. This is why I look forward to 2018. A lot of test results are due out and it will eliminate some of these bogus chemists. My money is on Replicel. Why did Shiseido, who could have afforded to finance all the players, support Replicel but leave the others? What did their painstaking due diligence find compared to our mere opinions and speculation? There must be something in it.

  29. I’m curious how much Fidia paid Dr. Brotzu for the patent? Anything over 5 million would help me believe thay they may have something.

    1. i am on my phone so I don’t know how to copy and paste but over on HLT go to page 608 on the Italian lotion thread and scroll down to you see switzer he has the link also look for a user just below him WHLX who gives some info on it. I believe he says page 19 has the results

  30. When is the Brotzu coming out? Is it a shampoo foam or topical, like minoxidil, where it stays in over night. I don’t want minoxidil…I don’t use it. Also, I have not had any further hair loss in the last two years. Confirmed by two M.Ds in dermatology. I also am in the works for Topical Finasteride, I refuse to take oral fin( even though I have a bottle of it right now…it’s staring at me and I think about it from time to time…however, being in college med and bio..I can’t afford to risk brain fog or fatigue ) lol. I have to save up a little because I dropped $$$ for holidays and have med school/biology classes to pay off. However, will probably start around Feb or March with it. Not cheap. What are your thoughts on Topical finasteride?…it has other things in it, I am leaving that stuff out because I don’t want others doing what I might do. I am a NW 2.5 or so.

  31. Guys…..I might do topical Finasteride…..no minox. Never used minox. I am about a NW 2.5. I am saving up……I will also be going back into the gym( long injury ), also things to boost HGH( don’t ask on HGH….I just don’t want people to do it, all with a medical doctor…” Not an internet pharmacy.” ). I had conversations with a clinic, and they are not opposed of my idea and their idea combined. The problem, I am the guinea pig. Also Litanoprost might be used. I am a bit nervous to try, but what are your thoughts. I might need a dht blocker because or raising testosterone levels a bit, not super physiological. So, topical finasteride is an option. @Litan, any concrete studies on this?

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