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Heart disease risk increased fivefold for bald and graying men.

"The incidence of coronary artery disease in young men," explains study co-author Dr. Sachin Patil, a third-year resident at the U.N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre, "is increasing but cannot be explained by traditional risk factors."

"Premature graying and [male pattern baldness]," he adds, "correlate well with vascular age irrespective of chronological age and are plausible risk factors for coronary artery disease."

Dr. Sharma echoes these thoughts, saying, "Baldness and premature graying should be considered risk factors for coronary artery disease. These factors may indicate biological, rather than chronological, age which may be important in determining total cardiovascular risk."

"Currently physicians use common sense to estimate biological age, but a validated scale is needed," he adds.

"Men with premature graying and androgenic alopecia should receive extra monitoring for coronary artery disease and advice on lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, exercise, and stressmanagement."

Dr. Dhammdeep Humane

"Our study found associations," Dr. Humane continues, "but a causal relationship needs to be established before statins can be recommended for men with baldness or premature graying."