Why going bald may be bad for your health

Posted at 12:30 PM, Apr 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-04 12:30:52-04

A large scale study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds men with prostate cancer should continue treatments indefinitely.

Previous smaller studies showed some health benefits of taking a break from treatments when the cancer seems to stabilize. But researchers studying more than 1,500 patients found a 10 percent higher risk of death for those who used intermittent therapy.

Some bald men could be at an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Researchers analyzed more than 800 studies published over decades. They found men who lose most of their hair are 32 percent more likely to develop heart problems.

The risk is greatest for men with a bald spot on the top of their head.

Scientists aren't sure how the two are linked, but some explanations include the possibility that baldness may indicate insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.

Also, baldness could indicate an increased sensitivity to testosterone.

And low testosterone levels in men may lead to the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers in Sweden discovered the link after tracking more than 33,000 older men. Doctors say the finding suggests hormonal changes happen before the onset of arthritis and may influence how severe it is.