Asian men who smoke may have increased risk for hair loss

A report in the November issue of Archives of Dermatology states that smoking could be linked with age-related hair loss amongst men in Asia. The journal is one of the JAMA/Archives journals which states, “Androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary androgen-dependent disorder, is characterized by progressive thinning of the scalp hair defined by various patterns. It is the most common type of hair loss in men.” Experts say that although risk for hair loss is largely due to genetic reasons, some environmental factors could also be a reason.
The findings are based on a survey conducted by 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. The survey was conducted amongst 740 Taiwanese men between the ages of 40 and 91 in 2005. During interviews the men reported smoking amongst other risk factors for balding if they had alopecia, the age at which they began losing their hair.

Degree of hair loss was assessed by clinical classifications, while their height and weight were measured and blood samples analyzed.
The article further stated, “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 survey also indicates that Asian men’s risk for hair loss increased with advancing age, however, remaining lower than the average risk among white men. Smoking could destroy hair follicles, damaging the papilla which circulates blood and hormones that stimulate growth of hair.