Are your hair's
Hypertension and Androgenetic Alopecia
Overview. As for cholesterol, there seems to be a link between androgenetic alopecia and arterial hypertension. But, apart from a clear clinical observation, research has not yet been able to explain the correlation between the two conditions. Also, some medications against hypertension can decrease hair loss, while others can cause it. All those questions need to be clarified.
1 - Clinical Observation
2 - 2007 French Study
3 - And What About Women?
4 - Additional Comments
5 - Antihypertensors and Hair Loss
As the old saying goes: bad head, bad heart. Dermatologists and cardiologists have been noticing it for many years: men and women who are subject to hair loss are more exposed than others to cardio-vascular problems. Inversely, those who suffer from hypertension often have the clinical symptoms of androgenetic alopecia.
2007 French Study
Essential hypertension (without a specific medical cause) makes for over 90% of cases. In most cases, it is linked to an excess of aldosterone, an hormone secreted by the suprarenal glands. On the other hand, spironolactone, a diuretic anti-hypertensor against hyperaldosteronism, has also for a long time been used in the United States as an anti-androgen in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. But, to this day, there is no satisfactory study on the matter.
It is based on those facts that, in 2007, a team of French researchers* decided to study more in-depth the correlation of androgenetic alopecia with the excess of aldosterone identified with essential hypertension.
EXPERIMENTS ON MICE
Researchers first submitted transgenic mice to an overdose of aldosterone. The mice then developed alopecia and lost part of their fur.
STUDY ON 250 PATIENTS
The study was carried over a sample of 250 men, brought by 5 different general physicians. They were picked based on the following criteria: age from 35 to 65 years old, Caucasian, alopecia between stages 0 and 4 on the Hamilton/Norwood scale (as seen on the right). The study consisted in cross referencing many criteria regarding the 250 patient’s family and medical history. It led to several conclusions.
• Androgenetic hair losses are strongly linked to heredity, which had been known for a long time. Such losses (independently of age) are also strongly associated with arterial hypertension, which had never yet been so clearly shown.
The relationship between androgenetic alopecia and the excess of aldosterone requires complementary research. If the association were scientifically proven, the use of molecules that act against aldosterone could be useful in order to fight hereditary hair loss.
*S. Ahouansou, P. Le Toumelin, B. Crickx, V. Descamps - AP HP - Bobigny Hospital
3. And What About Women?
In 2005, a study conducted by a team of four Iranian physicians* had already tried to establish a correlation between androgenetic alopecia and heart problems, but this time on women.
The research was carried over 106 patients aged below 55 years old. They had all been through and angiography (blood vessel radiography) in order to complete the diagnosis of a heart problem. Beyond the angiography, the study included, for each patient: a consultation by a dermatologist, individual questioning, and a careful analysis of their medical history and their family’s.
The angiography showed that 51 of those women suffered from proven coronary insufficiency. No less than 29% of them were also developing androgenetic alopecia, as formerly diagnosed by the dermatologists who had examined them (between stages 1 and 3, depending on the patients). See Ludwig scale on the right.
This study enabled to outline the existence of a major correlation between women’s cardio-vascular problems and androgentic hair losss.
* Parvin Mansouri, Mohammadreza Mortazavi, Masood Eslami, Mona Mazinani - Khomeini Hospital, Teheran.
4. Additional Comments
• According to both studies, men and women who suffer from androgenetic alopecia could belong to a population at cardio-vascular risk. They should periodically control their blood pressure in order to diagnose an eventual problem as soon as possible.
Inversely, those with a cardio-vascular problem should make sure that their hair’s vital functions remain balanced (> in-depth hair diagnosis).
That is especially the case given that some antihypertensor treatments can cause, alone, hair loss. Such a so-called drug-induced and ‘telogen effluvium’ loss is reversible, by stopping the treatment or replacing it with a similar treatment that does not have that side effect. See next paragraph.
5. Antihypertensors and Hair Loss
List of the main drugs against hypertension that may cause diffuse hair loss. They are to be avoided, if possible, at least strictly as far as the hair is concerned.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
Calcium Channel Blockers
Source: 2009 Vidal Expert
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
- Androgenetic Hair Loss/Alopecia Women Men
- Impact of Androgen Hormones on Hair Loss Women Men
- Daily Hair Loss: What Is the Norm? Women Men
- Drug-Associated Alopecia (Hair Loss) Women Men
- Cholesterol and Hair Loss
- Your Diet and Hair Loss Women Men
- Clauderer Anti-Hair Loss Treatments
- Clauderer in-Depth Hair Diagnosis
Treat your Hair to the French Touch!