It’s not just your imagination or a stereotype that shorter men tend to go bald more often. In fact, the pairing of height and hair loss can all be blamed on genetics, a new study has found.
The international genetic study, conducted by the University of Bonn, concluded that men of shorter stature may have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely. The findings, where were published in the journal Nature Communications, were the result of a comprehensive global study that investigated the genetic material of more than 20,000 men. While celebrities like Jason Alexander and Danny DeVito weren’t included in the study, the data did uncover that early hair loss is the result of a variety of illnesses and physical characteristics, including height.
Previous studies have already confirmed that prematurely bald men are more likely to have heart disease or prostate cancer, but this new research into genetic data confirms a hypothesis that premature hair loss is also linked to additional illnesses and physical traits. Of the 20,000 men included in the study, around 11,000 with premature baldness were included, along with 12,000 men who didn’t have hair loss. Men from seven countries were represented.
“We were thus able to identify 63 alterations in the human genome that increase the risk of premature hair loss,” Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach told Science Daily. “Some of these alterations were also found in connection with other characteristics and illnesses, such as reduced body size, earlier occurrence of puberty, and various cancers.”
The findings also uncovered a link between light skin color and bone density. Researchers believe this could mean that men with hair loss can more effectively use sunlight to synthesize vitamin D, and may explain why white men are more prone to losing their hair prematurely. The study backed findings between premature hair loss and a risk for prostate cancer, but the relationship between hair loss and heart disease was harder to confirm, as genes that reduce the risk of heart disease were found along with genes that increase the risk. Here are some ways you can prevent prostate cancer and heart disease.
Despite the study’s findings, researchers advise shorter men with premature hair loss not to lose any additional strands with worry over the findings.
“The risks of illness are only increased slightly,” Dr. Markus Nöthen, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Bonn has said. “It is, however, exciting to see that hair loss is by no means an isolated characteristic, but instead displays various relationships with other characteristics.”
If you’re thinning out up top, these natural hair loss remedies and treatments are definitely worth a try.