Will a simple test eventually predict balding?

Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness can have substantial psychosocial effects, and it has been phenotypically linked to adverse health outcomes such as prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. We explored the genetic architecture of the trait using data from over 52,000 male participants of UK Biobank, aged 40-69 years. We identified over 250 independent genetic loci associated with severe hair loss (P<5×10-8). By splitting the cohort into a discovery sample of 40,000 and target sample of 12,000, we developed a prediction algorithm based entirely on common genetic variants that discriminated (AUC = 0.78, sensitivity = 0.74, specificity = 0.69, PPV = 59%, NPV = 82%) those with no hair loss from those with severe hair loss. The results of this study might help identify those at greatest risk of hair loss, and also potential genetic targets for intervention.
PMID: 28196072
Full paper is available in the open source journal PLoS Genetics:

1 thought on “Will a simple test eventually predict balding?

  1. Seeing as how multiple studies have linked male pattern baldness and an increased risk of prostate cancer, should middle-aged (or older) men with MPB and a family history of prostate cancer or BPH consider starting finasteride (or dutasteride) as a preventative measure, i.e. as a means to lower their significant likelihood of developing prostate problems?

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