Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: Chrome dome doesn't mean sicker ticker

Heart Beat

Chrome dome doesn't mean sicker ticker

Some men "" think Yul Brynner, Sean Connery, or Michael Jordan "" make balding look good. For most of us, though, it's a pain. A double pain, if balding is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as some studies have suggested. Take heart, all ye with receding (or receded) hairlines. At least half of the studies on this topic, including the latest one, show no link between balding and heart trouble.

In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, researchers found no substantial links between patterns of baldness, or its severity, and heart attack risk. Taking this research a step further, they found no link between baldness and the buildup of cholesterol-laden plaque in the carotid arteries, a marker of the health of the circulatory system.

Looking for a connection between baldness and heart disease isn't a harebrained endeavor. Balding is partially driven by testosterone, levels of which may influence heart disease. Yet despite several dozen studies, no clear connection has developed between balding and cardiovascular disease.

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