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Smoking can lead to hair loss in men

Men who smoke have a higher risk of going bald as compared to non-smokers.

Smoking can lead to hair loss in men

Men who smoke have a higher risk of going bald as compared to non-smokers. Though there are numerous side effects related to smoking, little is known about this link with hair loss. However, smoking can destroy hair follicles, interfere with the way blood and hormones are circulated in the scalp or increase the production of oestrogen. To evaluate the association of andro-genetic alopecia (AGA; also known as male pattern baldness) with smoking and to estimate its prevalence among Asian men, researchers at the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taiwan conducted a population-based study on 740 subjects aged 40 to 91 years. Information on smoking, together with other possible risk factors and age at onset of AGA, was collected using a questionnaire interview. The results showed that cigarettes played a major role in the development of moderate to severe hair loss, especially in cases of men smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day. As compared to people of other ethnic origins, the risk of hair loss was slower in Taiwanese men. Smoking status, current amount of cigarette smoking, and smoking intensity were statistically significant factors responsible for hair loss after controlling for age and family history. Thus, men who show early signs of male pattern baldness should be told about their risk due to smoking and receive early advice to prevent more advanced hair loss.
Archives of Dermatology,
November 2007
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