[Skip to Navigation]
February 24, 1993

A Case-Control Study of Baldness in Relation to Myocardial Infarction in Men

Author Affiliations

From the Slone Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine, Brookline, Mass.

JAMA. 1993;269(8):998-1003. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500080046030

Objective.  —To examine the relationship between male pattern baldness and the risk of myocardial infarction in men under the age of 55 years.

Design and Participants.  —A hospital-based, case-control study was conducted in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Cases were men admitted to a hospital for a first nonfatal myocardial infarction (n=665); controls were men admitted to the same hospitals with noncardiac diagnoses (n=772). Extent of baldness was assessed using the 12-point modified Hamilton Baldness Scale; other information was obtained by personal interview. Among the controls, the prevalence of any baldness was 34%, while the prevalence of baldness involving the vertex scalp was 23%.

Results.  —After allowing for age, the relative risk estimate for frontal baldness compared with no hair loss was 0.9 (95% confidence interval, 0.6 to 1.3), for baldness involving the vertex scalp it was 1.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 1.9). Risk of myocardial infarction increased as the degree of vertex baldness increased (P<.01); for severe vertex baldness the relative risk was 3.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.7 to 7.0). The relationship between vertex baldness and myocardial infarction was consistent within strata defined by age and other risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Conclusion.  —These data support the hypothesis that male pattern baldness involving the vertex scalp is associated with coronary artery disease in men under the age of 55 years.(JAMA. 1993;269:998-1003)