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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard: Male Pattern Baldness May Increase Risk of Colon Cancer

A new, first-of-its-kind study has found a link between certain types of male pattern baldness and increased risk of colorectal polyps. Such polyps can be precursors to colorectal cancer.

In men with frontal baldness (a receding hairline) and with frontal-plus-mild-vertex baldness (receding hairline plus slight baldness on the crown of the head), researchers found approximately 30 percent increased risk of colon cancer relative to men with no baldness, said Dr. NaNa Keum, research fellow in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study, in a January 14 interview in

“It may be prudent for males with frontal-only-baldness or frontal-plus-mild-vertex-baldness at age 45 years, although their elevated risk is modest, to consult physicians about colonoscopy screening guidelines,” Dr. Keum said.

For the study, published January 12 in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers followed about 33,000 men over an average of nearly 16 years who were participants in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Read more