Male pattern baldness not indicative of prostate cancer risk, progression
Baldness has little to do with the risk of prostate cancer, overall or specific clinical or molecular markers, according to a study.
Researchers prospectively examined the association between baldness (self-reported via the modified Norwood–Hamilton scale) at age 45 years and prostate cancer risk among 36,760 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). Of the men, 16,070 (44 percent) reported no balding, 9,374 (25 percent) frontal balding, 6,300 (17 percent) frontal and mild vertex balding, 2,929 (8 percent) frontal and moderate vertex balding, and 2,087 (6 percent) frontal and severe vertex balding.
Compared with those who did not have hair loss, men who reported frontal and severe vertex baldness were slightly shorter, had a higher body mass index at age 21 years, and were less likely to be current smokers.
Over 22 years of follow-up, 5,157 men developed prostate cancer. There were no significant associations seen between any baldness patterns and prostate cancer risk.
Among men aged <60 years, frontal and severe vertex baldness pattern showed a statistically significant association with overall prostate cancer (hazard ratio, 1.74, 95 percent confidence interval, 1.23–2.48).
Baldness was not related to prostate cancer defined by tumour protein expression of androgen receptor and the presence of the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion.Common risk factors, such as age and endogenous hormone levels, potentially explain an association between male pattern baldness and prostate cancer, the researchers noted. However, the null findings from the current study, along with inconclusive data from prior reports, suggest that baldness is not a consistent biomarker for prostate cancer risk or progression.