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Research Letter
September 2017

Sex Hormones and Hair Loss in Men From the General Population of Northeastern Germany

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  • 2Behavioral Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
  • 3Clinic of Dermatology, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  • 4German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), partner site Greifswald, Germany
  • 5Department of Cardiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  • 6Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  • 7German Centre for Diabetes Research (DZD), partner site Greifswald, Germany
  • 8European University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Applied Public Health, Rostock, Germany
  • 9School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(9):935-937. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0297

The most common form of human hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. It affects both sexes and at least 50% of men by the age of 50 years.1 In general, hair grows from androgen-responsive follicles, and invaginations of the superficial epithelium in the skin also show age-dependent changes in androgens. Among genetically predisposed individuals, androgenetic alopecia is characterized by an androgen-responsive hair loss. Pattern alopecia results in a decrease in hair follicle size accompanied by a decrease in the duration of anagen and an increase in the percentage of hair follicles in telogen with follicular miniaturization, which is the histological hallmark of androgenetic alopecia.1 In vitro, testosterone and estrogen inhibit hair growth, suggesting that scalp hair growth may be controlled by these sex hormones.2 Thus, we investigated cross-sectional associations between a panel of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)-measured sex hormones and hair loss in men from the general population of Northeastern Germany.

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