Are you going bald in a manly fashion? Do you look in the mirror and count down the days until the whiskers on your head have all but evacuated? Have you ever thought to yourself that life couldn’t possibly get much worse because, shit man, you’re going bald? Well, the good news is that your days as a bald man are numbered. The bad news is that this is because you’re going to die.
Okay, let’s break this down a little less dramatically. According to a new study out of India, early baldness is a higher indication of your risk of suffering heart disease than obesity. That is, if you’re going bald before the age of 40, you’re more likely to die of heart disease than the guy sporting a full mane at age 70.
The study of more than 2,000 young men in India (790 men under 40 who had coronary artery disease, and 1,270 healthy men of a similar age, who acted as a control group) discovered that the men with heart conditions were five times more likely to have gone prematurely gray than the control group. Men with heart conditions were also more likely to have male pattern baldness — 49 percent vs. 27 percent of those in the healthy group.
But how can baldness be worse for physical health than obesity?
The answer, of course, is that it’s not: Obesity is terrible for your health. This is correlation, not cause: The hair loss is not responsible for the heart disease, it just seems to hit the same people. Dr. Kamal Sharma, the principal investigator on the study, told the BBC that, “The possible reason could be the process of biological aging, which may be faster in certain patients and may be reflected in hair changes.”
In other words, if your head looks like it’s being hit hard by signs of aging, you might want to check what’s happening with your heart, too. Lead study author Dr. Dhammdeep Humane, of the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre in Ahmedabad, recommends that men with male pattern balding or premature graying, “Should receive extra monitoring for coronary artery disease and advice on lifestyle changes, such as healthy diet, exercise, and stress management.”
If his words are heeded, it looks like we’ll be seeing even more bald dudes in incredible shape.
A few other things we learned about our bodies today:
Sorry gym dudes: Women are naturally fitter than men.
Kombucha may be the probiotic king, but proper exercise can also change the composition of your gut bacteria, at least according to a study on mice.
Squeamish around needles? Losing weight can actually reverse diabetes.
But also, eating breakfast may lower risk of diabetes and heart disease (no, cookies for breakfast doesn’t count).
In today’s “no, duh” news, skipping sleep leaves your body weaker.