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Crown Balding and Heart Disease Linked in British Medical Journal Study

A new meta-analysis of six studies, published in the British medical journal BMJ Open, has found a linkage between balding at the crown and coronary heart disease. While the top-line result of the study may be alarming, let us look first at some of the key facts.

  • While the study showed a modest link between crown balding and heart disease, the link was not as strong as for other heart disease indicators such as smoking, obesity, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • There was no link established for men with a receding hair line.
  • Key indicators of heart disease — high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking — are present in about half of Americans, according to the Center for Disease Control in America. So this is a health issue faced by many Americans, hair loss or not.
  • Importantly, the most appropriate response if you have balding at the crown (and particularly crown balding at an early age), is not to worry first and foremost about your hair, but to concentrate on basic heart health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Discuss these issues and any concerns with your primary care physician.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo in Japan compiled information from six different studies with a combined total of almost 37,000 male participants. The studies were published between 1993 and 2008. Although one of the six studies did not find a link between baldness and coronary heart disease, the other five studies did find a link with the strength of the association differing in each study. In general, the more severe the balding at the crown, the more likely there was an association with heart disease. In addition, early onset of vertex balding — i.e. early balding at the crown — was found to be associated with the early development of more significant heart disease.

More research needs to be done to investigate the actual medical causes of the linkages shown.

An article on the BBC News website quotes a cardiac nurse from the British Heart Foundation discussing the findings:

“Although these findings are interesting, men who’ve lost their hair should not be alarmed by this analysis. Much more research is needed to confirm any link between male pattern baldness and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. In the meantime, it’s more important to pay attention to your waistline than your hairline.”

Image c/o BBC online

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NY Japion Features Dr. Bernstein, ARTAS Robot For FUE
Dr. Bernstein with ARTAS Robot for FUE

Dr. Bernstein was featured as the cover story of the April 27th edition of NY Japion, a weekly newspaper in the Japanese language, published in the New York tri-state area and distributed for free in the Japanese community.

The article includes an interview with Dr. Bernstein about the latest in hair transplant surgery, including his pioneering use of the ARTAS robot for FUE hair transplantation.

NY Japion featured Dr. Bernstein in a 2006 series on hair restoration in which Dr. Bernstein discussed hair loss and its implications.

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Dr. Bernstein in Japanese Magazine
Dr. Bernstein and ARTAS Robot

Dr. Bernstein’s pioneering work in developing FUT and FUE hair transplant procedures has influenced hair restoration physicians across the globe. Recently, his use of the ARTAS System for robotic FUE has grabbed international attention.

Yomitime, a Japanese web-zine, recently featured Dr. Bernstein and his foray into robotic hair restoration. The article describes the “cutting-edge” ARTAS robot, while also covering the basics of Dr. Bernstein’s FUT and FUE procedures.

Patients of Bernstein Medical fly in from around the globe to receive world-class treatment for their hair loss. This past year alone he has treated patients from India, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Israel, the UK and Russia.

For more about visiting our office from abroad, visit Our Patients in the New Patient Information section. Or, to have a consultation with Dr. Bernstein via the internet, visit our Photo Consult page and submit the form.

If you can read Japanese, download the article here.

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Q: I was at a party the other day and some women were talking about their boyfriend’s hair. I heard one refer to her ex-boyfriend as having a “bar code.” What is that? — B.A., New Albany, Ohio

A: A “bar code” is slang term used in Japan for a comb over.

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NY Japion - Dr. Robert M. Bernstein

NY Japion — a weekly newspaper in the Japanese language, published in the New York tri-state area, and distributed for free in the Japanese community — has featured Robert M. Bernstein, MD, in their series on hair loss in men and women. In the series, TV producer, Hideo Nakamura, who is bald himself, goes on a mission on behalf of fellow bald men. His column hopes to help others with hair loss to have a more fulfilled, fun life and to raise their self-esteem.

Nakamura interviewed Dr. Bernstein for this weekly series that began in October 2006. In issues No. 1 and 2, Dr. Bernstein explained the basic mechanism of balding for both men and women which are quite different in its causes, balding types, and progression of hair loss. The NY Japion’s readers were all very surprised by the fact that balding for men is actually related to genes on both the mother’s side as well as the father’s side of the family. Dr. Bernstein also shared his unique theory of why Japan’s Samurai had the uniformed bald look.

The column discussed post-op care after hair restoration surgery and explained the drug Propecia, a men’s oral hair growth treatment, minoxidil and some cosmetic hair products.

Reporter Nakamura was also examined by Dr. Bernstein and with the patient’s permission was allowed to observe a hair transplant surgery. Issues No. 3, 4, 5 are about the surgical hair restoration procedure known as Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation (FUT), a method that Dr. Bernstein helped to pioneer. By using the patient’s own hair, FUT can give totally natural looking results. The patient’s own hair starts growing where there was no hair before.

You can download a PDF version of the original series (in Japanese) at the link below:


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