Can certain physical attributes express negative health characteristics? Are women being too picky about dating bald-headed men, or are they being savvy to hidden health defects that might affect their children’s future? Unfortunately for bald men around the world, recent studies show that male pattern baldness often goes hand-in-hand with a higher risk of heart disease. In the past, male pattern baldness has also been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Now it seems that baldness is also related to heart disease – can’t a bald guy catch a break?
The normal thinning of hair that comes with age, usually a receding hairline, is not included in these studies. Rather, the researchers studied those with male pattern baldness, which starts at the top or back of the head. Those subjects with male pattern baldness were at a 30-40 percent higher risk of heart disease than those with a full head of hair. It is unclear whether male pattern baldness may be used to pre-diagnose a risk for heart disease or any other conditions, and it may be just another symptom of an underlying health situation. Baldness is largely predetermined genetically, and the greater the hair loss, the higher the propensity for health-related risk factors. For the 25 percent of men that begin balding by age 30, the risk factors are even higher.
Like your skin, teeth or gums, the health of your hair is a reflection of the health of your body. Full, healthy hair indicates youth and vigor. Just as men respond to full, luscious locks of hair in females as a positive mating factor, women also judge potential mates on the fullness of their hair. Humans have evolved to be able to detect healthy, fertile mates with just one glance (or one sniff), and the quality of your hair is a beacon that indicates how healthy your system is overall.
What does this mean? If you are a balding man, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders for proper health screenings for heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Your genetics are not your fate, and you may not ever experience any of these diseases – but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention and be responsible for your health, especially if you started balding at an early age.
If you’re a woman, understand that there is an evolutionary reason why you are attracted to guys with full heads of hair – and understand that there are many positive behaviors and characteristics possessed by balding men that trump disease risk factors entirely. A kind, loving bald man that treats you like a queen yet has a greater risk for heart disease is better than a perfectly healthy jerk any day of the week.