Hypertension ( high blood pressure ) makes it more difficult for blood to be pumped around the body. Putting the heart under strain, the potentially lethal condition needs to be managed. Hypertension itself comes with its entire baggage of risks including heart disease, damage to kidneys, damage to the brain, but now, hair loss also seems to be added to the list.
There are many studies showing a relationship between heart disease and hair loss, and there are many studies showing a relationship between hypertension and heart disease. Hypertension definitely causes heart disease, and heart disease can also cause hypertension. Hair loss is associated with both heart disease and hypertension. In one such study published in the year 2007, it was found that hypertension was strongly associated with male pattern baldness. Additionally, a Bangalore study evaluated 1,000 Indian men in the IT sector with hereditary hair loss between the ages of 25 and 35, and found 85 per cent had hypertension. The hair loss clinic researchers who carried out this study hypothesised that ‘metabolic disorders such as coronary heart disease, obesity and hormonal disorders’ could be the basis of Male Pattern Baldness.
Symptoms of thyroid-related hair loss
Hair loss may develop slowly with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. You won’t necessarily notice patches missing or bald spots. Instead, your hair may seem thinner all over.
Usually, people lose 50-100 hairs each day. If normal hair growth is interrupted, hairs aren’t being replenished, and a uniform hair loss may occur.
Treating the cause
Not only high blood pressure but medications used to control high blood pressure effectively, might lead to an increased risk of hair loss. Here is a list of medicines used to control high blood pressure, that might also cause hair loss as one of its side effects：
- Cholesterol Management medications
- Ace Inhibitors
It’s worth noting that the hair loss associated with hypertension is specifically vertex hair loss, or hair loss at the top or crown of the head, not hair loss along the temples or a typical receding hairline.
Researchers aren’t sure just yet if hair loss should be considered an indicator of or precursor to hypertension and/or heart disease, or if hypertension and/or heart disease is causing the hair loss. The most recent study showing the relationship between hypertension and hair loss is the meta-analysis from researchers.
Heart disease is a major cause of mortality and disability throughout the world, and the United States has very high rates for heart disease compared to other countries. So, if something like a specific pattern of hair loss can indicate to us that there is underlying heart disease or hypertension, that is a very important finding, even if we don’t know why.
We can’t say that hypertension definitely causes hair loss or that hair loss causes hypertension. But they are definitely related, especially in men, and especially with a vertex-type hair loss.
Anyone suffering from sudden and significant hair loss should see his or her family doctor. Before starting any of these medicines, you can speak to your doctor about the possible side effects of these. If they increase hair loss, your doctor can suggest alternative medication for the same.