Background: Androgenetic alopecia is defined as patterned hair loss caused by androgens in genetically susceptible individuals. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of interrelated risk factors that increase the risk of coronary artery disease. Androgenetic alopecia is associated with metabolic syndrome components including insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and obesity. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in androgenetic alopecia patients with controls.
Methods: The study groups consisted of 50 androgenetic alopecia patients and 50 controls who agreed to participate. Following recruitment into the study, history taking, clinical examination, and laboratory investigations were carried out, and details of each individual were recorded into a pre-structured case record sheet.
Results: The groups were not statistically different in terms of age or sex distribution, height and weight, glucose levels, thyroid hormone level, blood counts, and lipid levels. We found that 26% of patients in the case group and 6% in the control group satisfied the definition of metabolic syndrome; this difference was significant (P = 0.007). We observed a statistically significant difference in LDL and HDL levels between the cases and controls (P = 0.0027 and 0.0091, respectively).
Conclusion: Patients with androgenetic alopecia have an increased likelihood of having metabolic syndrome and must be routinely screened for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia. They should be made conscious of the more serious implications of the apparently cosmetic disorder.