Alopecia and the Metabolic Syndrome

    January 2018 in “ Clinics in Dermatology
    Cheryl Jia Ling Lie, Choon Fong Liew, Hazel H Oon
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    TLDR Men with common hair loss may have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, and should be checked for these conditions.
    The document from 2018 examines the link between androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and metabolic syndrome (MetS), showing a significant association, especially in men. AGA, a common hair loss form, involves androgens like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causing follicular miniaturization. MetS comprises conditions that raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Studies reviewed suggest a strong connection between AGA and MetS, as well as AGA and MetS components such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. The document also explores AGA's relationship with other metabolic conditions like PCOS and Cushing's syndrome, advocating for MetS screening in AGA patients. It mentions a case-control study with 80 Thai men and a larger study with 7126 patients but calls for more research, particularly on women. Additionally, the document discusses the role of nutrient deficiencies in hair loss and the unclear effects of supplementation, the commonality of hair loss after bariatric surgery, and the limited evidence linking lifestyle factors to AGA. It also differentiates alopecia areata (AA) as autoimmune and not strongly linked to MetS. The conclusion suggests that AGA patients could be screened for MetS to prevent cardiovascular issues, but more studies are needed to establish definitive guidelines.
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