Asian men who smoke may have increased risk for hair loss

November 19, 2007

Smoking may be associated with age-related hair loss among Asian men, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

“Androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary androgen-dependent disorder, is characterized by progressive thinning of the scalp hair defined by various patterns,” the authors write as background information in the article. “It is the most common type of hair loss in men.” Although risk for the condition is largely genetic, some environmental factors also may play a role.

Lin-Hui Su, M.D., M.Sc., of the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, and Tony Hsiu-Hsi Chen, D.D.S., Ph.D., of National Taiwan University, Taipei, surveyed 740 Taiwanese men age 40 to 91 (average age 65) in 2005. At an in-person interview, the men reported information about smoking, other risk factors for hair loss and if they had alopecia, the age at which they began losing their hair. Clinical classifications were used to assess their degree of hair loss, their height and weight were measured and blood samples were provided for analysis.

The men’s risk for hair loss increased with advancing age, but remained lower than the average risk among white men. “After controlling for age and family history, statistically significant positive associations were noted between moderate or severe androgenetic alopecia and smoking status, current cigarette smoking of 20 cigarettes or more per day and smoking intensity,” the authors write.

This association could be caused by several mechanisms, they note. Smoking may destroy hair follicles, damage the papilla that circulate blood and hormones to stimulate hair growth or increase production of the hormone estrogen, which may counter the effects of androgen.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Innovative device could offer new hope for heart patients

Related Stories

Safe hair care spares hair, dermatologists report

November 28, 2016

A common cause of hair loss and breakage known as acquired trichorrhexis nodosa, or TN —often more prevalent in African-Americans—can actually be remedied through appropriate use of cleansing products, hair care and styling ...

Cochlear implants for advanced hearing loss

November 11, 2016

Dear Mayo Clinic: I'm 72 and have worn hearing aids for about a decade. Over the past several years, my hearing seems to be getting worse. Although I've tried several different kinds of hearing aids, I can't hear well with ...

Treating chronic, unremitting grief

November 15, 2016

After Stephanie Muldberg's 13-year-old son Eric died of Ewing's sarcoma in 2004, she was lost in a sea of grief. Her days were long, unstructured, monotonous. She barely left her New Jersey home. When she did leave, she planned ...

Recommended for you

Study shows blood products unaffected by drone trips

December 7, 2016

In what is believed to be the first proof-of-concept study of its kind, Johns Hopkins researchers have determined that large bags of blood products, such as those transfused into patients every day, can maintain temperature ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.