Alopecia and its association with coronary heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors: A meta-analysis

  • Nelson Trieu
    Affiliations
    The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Discipline of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Guy D. Eslick
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Discipline of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Level 3, Clinical Building, P.O. Box 63, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia. Tel.: +61 2 47 341 373; fax: +61 2 47 343 432.
    Affiliations
    The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Discipline of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
    Search for articles by this author

      Highlights

      • Alopecia has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
      • 31 studies comprising 29,254 participants with alopecia were eligible for the meta-analysis.
      • Alopecia is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
      • Alopecia was linked to higher serum cholesterol levels, higher serum triglyceride levels, higher systolic/diastolic blood pressures.
      • Alopecia is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors.

      Abstract

      Background

      Alopecia has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease as well as the following risk factors for cardiovascular disease: hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidaemia, and hypertension. We performed a meta-analysis to quantitatively determine the level of risk of coronary heart disease and risk factors in individuals with alopecia.

      Methods

      A systematic literature search was conducted using several databases. We calculated pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using a random effects model.

      Results

      In total, 31 studies comprising 29,254 participants with alopecia were eligible for the meta-analysis and showed that alopecia is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (OR 1.22, 95% CI: 1.07–1.39), hyperinsulinaemia (OR 1.97, 95% CI: 1.20–3.21), insulin resistance (OR 4.88, 95% CI: 2.05–11.64), and metabolic syndrome (OR 4.49, 95% CI: 2.36–8.53). Individuals with alopecia were also shown to be more likely compared to those without alopecia to have higher serum cholesterol levels (OR 1.60, 95% CI: 1.17–2.21), higher serum triglyceride levels (OR 2.07, 95% CI: 1.32–3.25), higher systolic blood pressures (OR 1.73, 95% CI: 1.29–2.33), and higher diastolic blood pressures (OR 1.59, 95% CI: 1.16–2.18).

      Conclusions

      Alopecia is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, and there appears to be a dose–response relationship with degree of baldness whereby the greater the severity of alopecia, the greater the risk of coronary heart disease. Alopecia is also associated with an increased risk of hypertension, hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and having elevated serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

      Keywords

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