Japanese researchers say balding men may be more likely to suffer heart problems than those with more hair.
The scientists compiled six studies from Europe and America and discovered that men who have hair loss at the back of their head – or pattern baldness – are more susceptible to develop heart disease.
Dr Kazuo Hara from the University of Tokyo was the lead researcher, using existing data from more than 36,000 patients, the international press reports.
“The present study found that male baldness is associated with 30 – 40 percent increased the risk of cardiovascular disease,” he said.
The level of risk was higher the more severe the baldness, according to the research. However, scientists did not discover a direct connection between the loss of hair and heart disease.
Dr Hara says some of the causes of baldness – such as age, hypertension and smoking – also cause heart disease, which could explain the connection.
“The other possibility is the direct link between baldness and heart disease. But there is no-one who can tell a mechanism whereby baldness causes heart disease,” he said.