Asian men should kick the butt if they don't want their
locks to fall off, for a new study has stated that smoking might be
the cause of age-related hair loss among them.
According to doctors in Taipei, the risk for the condition is largely
genetic, however some environmental factors may also play a role.
"Androgenetic Alopecia, a hereditary androgen-dependent disorder, is
characterized by progressive thinning of the scalp hair defined by
various patterns," the authors wrote as background information in the
"It is the most common type of hair loss in men", they added.
A survey was conducted among 740 Taiwanese men of age 40 to 91
(average age 65) in 2005, where at an in-person interview, information
was gathered from the men regarding their smoking habits.
They were also asked about other risk factors for their hair loss and
if they were suffering from Alopecia, and if so, at what age they
began losing their hair.
Using clinical classifications, their degree of hair loss was
assessed, height and weight were measured and blood samples were taken
It was found that men increased their risk of hair loss with advancing
age, but still had lower risk than the average white men.
"After controlling for age and family history, statistically
significant positive associations were noted between moderate or
severe Androgenetic Alopecia and smoking status, current cigarette
smoking of 20 cigarettes or more per day and smoking intensity," the
They noted that the relationship between the two could be caused by a
number of means. Smoking may destroy hair follicles, damage the
papilla that circulate blood and hormones to stimulate hair growth or
increase production of the hormone estrogen, which may counter the
effects of androgen.