Male pattern baldness in relation to prostate cancer risks: An analysis in the VITamins and lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study - Abstract

BACKGROUND: Male pattern baldness and prostate cancer may share common pathophysiological mechanisms in terms of advancing age, heritability, and endogenous hormones.

Results from previous epidemiologic studies are inconsistent. Therefore, we investigated the association of prostate cancer risks with male pattern baldness at age 30 years, age 45 years, and baseline (median age = 60.5 years) in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study.

METHODS: We included 32,583 men who were aged 50-76 years and without prior cancer diagnosis (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) at the start of follow-up. First primary incident prostate cancers were ascertained via linkage to the western Washington Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regressions with adjustment for potential confounders.

RESULTS: During follow-up (median = 9 years), 2,306 incident prostate cancers were diagnosed. Male pattern baldness at age 30 years, age 45 years, and baseline were not statistically significantly associated with overall or subtypes of prostate cancer.

CONCLUSION: This study did not provide support for the hypothesis that male pattern baldness may be a marker for subsequent prostate cancer. Previous evidence indicates that a distinct class of frontal with vertex balding may be associated with increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer, but all such balding classes were captured as a single exposure category by the VITAL cohort questionnaire.

Written by:
Zhou CK, Littman AJ, Levine PH, Hoffman HJ, Cleary SD, White E, Cook MB.   Are you the author?
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Maryland; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia.

Reference: Prostate. 2015 Mar;75(4):415-23.
doi: 10.1002/pros.22927

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25492530 Prostate Cancer Section