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Smoking May Contribute to Male Baldness, According to Study

Smoking May Contribute to Male Baldness, According to Study

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If health concerns aren't enough to convince a man to quit smoking, perhaps the threat of baldness will work. A statistical study shows that men who smoke are more likely to suffer hair loss and to begin hair loss at an earlier age. Many doctors say it makes sense, though they have yet to prove the exact cause.

The study that links smoking and hair loss was conducted by researchers from the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. They reviewed the medical history of 740 men ranging in age from 40 to 91 years, and averaging 65 years old. Some subjects' families had a history of baldness; others did not, which researchers said eliminated inherited baldness as a potential sole cause.

Some doctors who think smoking may contribute to hair loss point out that hair follicle failure is related, in part, to poor blood circulation in the scalp, and smoking is known to adversely affect blood circulation. Others point out that smoking ages people prematurely, causing wrinkling and yellowing of the skin and making hair more brittle.

If fear of baldness is a motivation to quit smoking, sooner is definitely better than later. Whereas smoking cessation can at least partially reverse some adverse health effects, the Taiwan study showed no reversal in the progression of balding.

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