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November 2013

Men with male-pattern androgenetic alopecia, higher BMI experienced greater hair loss

A greater BMI was associated with more severe hair loss in men with male-pattern androgenetic alopecia, according to recent study results.


In a cross-sectional study, researchers in Taiwan reviewed medical charts and photographs of 189 men (mean age, 30.8 years) with a clinical diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia (AGA).

The mean BMI for patients was 23.7 kg/m2. Twenty-three men (12.2%) were obese and 53 (28%) were overweight.

Male-pattern AGA was exhibited by 142 men (75.1%); 104 had mild-to-moderate AGA (grades I to IV) and 38 had severe AGA (grades V to VII).

In the male-pattern AGA cohort, men with severe alopecia had a greater BMI (25.1 kg/m2) compared with men with mild-to-moderate AGA (22.8 kg/m2; P=.01).

Forty-seven men (24.9%) experienced female-pattern baldness, including 27 with mild-to-moderate AGA and 20 with severe AGA.

Men with severe female-pattern AGA had a significantly higher mean body weight (75.4 kg) compared with patients with mild-to-moderate female-pattern AGA (68.7 kg; P=.04).

After multivariate adjustments, overweight or obese men (BMI≥24 kg/m2) with male-pattern AGA had a greater risk for severe alopecia (OR=3.52; 95% CI, 1.57-8.04). In men with female-pattern AGA, univariate and multivariate logistic regression did not display a significant AGA severity-BMI correlation.

Among 46 men with early onset male-pattern AGA, overweight or obese men had a greater risk for severe alopecia (OR=4.97; 95% CI, 1.22-22.3).

“In [patients] with AGA, especially those with male pattern of early onset, a higher severity of alopecia is correlated with a higher degree of obesity,” the researchers concluded.

“Further studies to elucidate the mechanism underlying their association will contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of AGA and may shed new light on the development of new treatment modalities.”