Androgenetic alopecia at various ages and prostate cancer risk in an equal-access multiethnic case–control series of veterans
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Epidemiological data are conflicting regarding the association between androgenetic alopecia (AA) and prostate cancer (CaP). We examined the relationship between these two conditions.
Materials and methods
We performed a case–control study at a Veterans Affairs Hospital among 708 men: 312 healthy controls, 167 men with CaP, and 229 men without CaP on prostate biopsy. Participants were asked to self-describe hair patterns at ages 30 and 40 and at study enrollment. We tested the association between hair pattern (overall, vertex, or frontal) and CaP status using logistic regression analysis adjusting for multiple clinical features. Disease grade was similarly examined as a secondary outcome.
Relative to healthy controls, younger age of AA onset was significantly associated with increased CaP risk (p = 0.008). Similar patterns were noted for frontal (p = 0.005) and not vertex balding (p = 0.22). When compared with biopsy-negative men, a similar pattern was seen with younger age of AA onset having higher risk of CaP, though this was not significant (p = 0.07). A suggestion for younger age of AA onset for frontal (p = 0.07) being associated with CaP versus biopsy-negative men was also observed. Overall balding (yes/no) was associated with greater than twofold increase in high-grade disease (p = 0.02).
Men reporting earlier AA onset were at increased CaP risk and suggestively had more aggressive disease. Contrary to other studies, frontal balding was the predominant pattern associated with elevated CaP risk. Further study is required to confirm these findings in a larger sample and to better understand the role of AA, androgens, and CaP biology.
KeywordsAndrogenetic alopecia Prostate cancer High-grade disease
The authors received funding and support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, T32 Training and the AUA Foundation/Astellas Rising Star in Urology Award.
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