Prevalence of polycystic ovaries in women with androgenic alopecia

The Researchers: E. Cela, et al.

Published In: European Journal of Endocrinology, Vol. 149(5), pp.439-442, 2003


Hair loss can signal health problems.


We might think of balding as a guy thing, but lots of women also lose their hair. In women, thinning hair is a natural part of aging, but in some cases, it can signal underlying health problems.

This study examined 162 women and found that 67 percent of those with alopecia (a common cause of hair loss, where hair typically thins evenly, starting just behind the hairline) also suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder. That’s compared to 27 percent of the subjects without hair loss, meaning that hair loss and PCOS often go hand in hand.

Subjects with PCOS also had a higher prevalence of acne (43 percent) and excess body hair—possibly due to heightened levels of male hormones, like testosterone.  

Bottom line: If your tresses are giving you trouble, get to the root of the problem.

Beauty connection

Thinning hair is a fact of getting older. Changing hormones and natural aging all cause hair to thin, but other factors can affect hair too. Diet, medical issues, some prescription medications and stress can all cause women’s hair loss. That’s exactly why we’re drawn to luscious locks: Internal health shines through as outer beauty.

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