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Dr Shahmalak Skeptical Of New Research Linking Baldness To Heart Disease on BBC World News

Posted in Head Lines: News & Latest, Celebrity & Media, on Thu, April 04, 2013

We were in the news again this week when our surgeon Asim Shahmalak was interviewed on BBC World News about new research linking heart disease to baldness.

Researchers at the University of Toyko in Japan published a new study involving 37,000 men showing that there was 32% higher incidence of heart disease in men who were bald in the vortex of the scalp - more commonly known as the crown - than in their friends with a full head of hair.

Dr Shahmalak, who  is involved in research into the biology of the hair follicle at the University of Manchester, was sceptical about the findings.

You can see the full interview here by clicking on this link - the report on  Dr Shahmalak is 16 minutes in:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rp4lx/World_News_Today_04_04_2013/

Dr Shahmalak told BBC World's Zeinab Badawi: "I will have to take this study with a pinch of salt. There is no scientific evidence for its findings. It simply based on individual observations.

"If we want to send out a message to the world about heart disease it should be that heart disease is related to smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol.

"We should be concentrating on these risk factors rather than if somebody is losing their hair."

Dr Shahmalak was then asked about the causes of male pattern baldness.

He pointed out that 50% of men aged 50 and 80% of men aged 70 would lose their hair and the main cause was family genes.

He stressed that there was 'no potion or medication in the world' which could help hair follicles to grow back on a bald man.

However, during the early  stages of baldness, clinically proven drugs such as Finasteride can halt or slow the onset of baldness, said Dr Shahmalak.

At the end of the interview, Badawi congratulated Dr Shahmalak on his full head of hair.

He replied modestly: "I have been very lucky."

Dr Shahmalak's interview is also available to view by going direct to the BBC i-Player. It was broadcast on BBC4 at  7pm on April 4 and is very easy to find on the i-Player site. It was also broadcast across the globe on BBC World.