(HealthDay News) – Male baldness is associated with prostate cancer, with more severe balding patterns more strongly associated with cancer.

David Margel, MD, from the University Health Network in Toronto, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 196 consecutive patients referred to a prostate biopsy. Finger lengths were measured and the ratio of the index to ring fingers (2D:4D) was calculated; male pattern baldness was assessed on a scale of 0–4. Measurements were conducted before biopsy.

The researchers found that 55% of patients were diagnosed with prostate cancer. On univariate analysis, there was no correlation between 2D:4D and prostate cancer but there was a significant association between male pattern baldness and prostate cancer (P for trend=0.03). Male pattern baldness remained a significant predictor of prostate cancer in multivariate analysis, adjusting for age, digital rectal examination, and prostate-specific antigen. There was a dose-response association noted, with more severe balding patterns more strongly correlated with prostate cancer (frontal balding odds ratio [OR], 2.0; mild vortex OR, 2.1; moderate vortex OR, 2.5; and severe vortex OR, 2.9).

“In a prospective cohort we found that male pattern baldness was an independent predictor of prostate cancer,” the authors write. “Further studies are needed in order to assess whether the inclusion of male pattern baldness can contribute to existing models to predict prostate cancer prior to biopsy.”

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Abstract No. 1451
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