Male Pattern Baldness Is Not a Marker for Prostate Cancer Risk

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CK Zhou, AJ Littman, PH Levine, HJ Hoffman, SD Cleary, E White, MB Cook
Male Pattern Baldness in Relation to Prostate Cancer Risks: An Analysis in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort Study
Prostate 2015; 75(4)415-423, 


Male pattern baldness and prostate cancer may share common pathophysiological mechanisms in terms of advancing age, heritability, and endogenous hormones. Results from previous epidemiologic studies are inconsistent. Therefore, we investigated the association of prostate cancer risks with male pattern baldness at age 30 years, age 45 years, and baseline (median age = 60.5 years) in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study.

We included 32,583 men who were aged 50-76 years and without prior cancer diagnosis (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) at the start of follow-up. First primary incident prostate cancers were ascertained via linkage to the western Washington Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regressions with adjustment for potential confounders.

During follow-up (median = 9 years), 2,306 incident prostate cancers were diagnosed. Male pattern baldness at age 30 years, age 45 years, and baseline were not statistically significantly associated with overall or subtypes of prostate cancer.

This study did not provide support for the hypothesis that male pattern baldness may be a marker for subsequent prostate cancer. Previous evidence indicates that a distinct class of frontal with vertex balding may be associated with increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer, but all such balding classes were captured as a single exposure category by the VITAL cohort questionnaire.