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09-09-2010 | Dermatology | Article

Metabolic syndrome prevalent in androgenetic alopecia patients


Free abstract

MedWire News: Patients with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) have a significantly higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and presence of atheromatous plaques than individuals without the condition, show study findings.

Writing in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Salvador Arias-Santiago (San Cecilio University Hospital, Granada, Spain) and colleagues report the results of a case-control study that included 77 early-onset AGA patients (40 men, 37 women) and 77 healthy controls (40 men, 37 women). The study was carried out to assess cardiovascular risk in these individuals.

The researchers found that 60.0% of men and 48.6% of women with AGA had the metabolic syndrome according to the updated 2005 National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) criteria, compared with 12.5% and 8.1% of male and female controls, respectively.

The NCEP-ATP III) criteria for metabolic syndrome requires the presence of at least three of the following; high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and impaired fasting glucose..

In addition, significantly more men and women with AGA had atheromatous plaques in comparison with male and female controls, at 32.5% and 27.0% versus 7.5% and 8.1%, respectively.

Overall, men and women with AGA were 10.50 and 10.73 times more likely to have the metabolic syndrome and 5.93 and 4.19 times more likely to have atheromatous plaques, respectively, than male or female controls.

"Pathogenic mechanisms that may explain the increased cardiovascular risk in patients with AGA include 5-α reductase, aldosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, insulin, genetics, and acute phase reactants," write the authors.

They conclude: "Cardiovascular screening by the metabolic syndrome criteria assessment and carotid ultrasound in male or female patients with early-onset AGA may be useful to detect individuals at risk and start preventive treatment against the development of cardiovascular disease."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert