By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What does your hair have to do with your heart? It could point to your risk of heart disease.

“There were some smaller studies which showed a relationship between male pattern baldness and coronary artery disease. But this was a large study called a meta-analysis, where they look at a bunch of trials, combine them together,” explains St. Clair Hospital cardiologist, Dr. Jeffrey Friedel.

Based on this large analysis of the available medical literature and nearly 37,000 patients, male pattern baldness, that is, loss of hair at the crown of the head, is linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

“A study with that large of a sample size, there is a correlation,” says Dr. Friedel.

Your risk is 30 to 50 percent higher than those who keep their locks.

“Probably has something to do with the same hormone issues that lead to male pattern baldness probably also accelerate atherosclerosis,” Dr. Friedel says.

If you’re going bald in the front, no worries. That was not associated with a higher risk.

Whether you have a full head of hair, or not, keeping the tried and true risk factors in check is your best bet: that’s high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and your weight.

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