Short, white men more likely to go bald — study

Sunday, March 12, 2017    

Print this page Email A Friend!

PARIS, France (AFP) — Add enhanced risk of premature balding to the list of illnesses and indignities faced by diminutive men of European descent, according to a new study.

“It seems that men with a relatively shorter body height have a higher chance of losing their hair,” University of Bonn professor Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach, lead author of the study published Wednesday, told AFP.

“Our data indicates that some of the genes involved in baldness are associated, on average, with shorter stature.”

Earlier research has shown that men with so-called male pattern baldness are also statistically more likely to suffer from heart disease and prostate cancer, though the added risk is slight.

Reduced body size and early onset of puberty are also linked with loss of hair for men.

Some of the same genes that regulate human height, it seems, also play a role in the emergence of these conditions and diseases.

The study, published in Nature Communications, identified 63 genetic variations “that increase the risk of premature hair loss”, Heilmann-Heimbach said.

The researchers did not set out to find a link with height, she added.

Nor did they quantify the relative risk of baldness associated with different statures.

“Future studies that assess both hair loss and body height may be able to answer that question,” she said by email.

But the statistical link was clear.

In men of European origin, balding usually starts in one’s 30s. Up to 80 per cent of European men are affected to some extent.

Hair loss in Asians comes about a decade later, and the overall frequence is much lower, impacting 50 to 60 per cent men.

There is relatively little data on baldness in Africa, but male hair loss there seems even less frequent.

Some of the gene variants uncovered in the study “may constitute promising targets for therapeutic interventions” Heilmann-Heimbach said.





1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Do you support the Gov’t giving US$200,000 towards staging the Racers Grand Prix 2017? 

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon