(HealthDay News) – Early-onset of male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia [AGA]) may be a marker of male urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Salvador Arias-Santiago, MD, PhD, of San Cecilio University in Granada, Spain, and colleagues conducted an observational case-control study of 45 men with early-onset AGA, diagnosed in the dermatology department, and 42 control subjects. Prostatic volume was measured by transrectal ultrasound, and urinary flow was measured by urinary flowmetry. A hormone study was performed on all participants, and the International Prostate Symptom Score and International Index of Erectile Function score were assessed.

The researchers found that the groups did not significantly vary in mean age (cases, 52.7 years; controls, 49.8 years). Patients with AGA had significantly higher mean prostate volume, International Prostate Symptom Score, and prostate-specific antigen levels. Patients with AGA also had significantly lower maximum urinary flow compared to the controls. There was a strong association between the presence of AGA and benign prostatic hyperplasia after adjusting for variables, including age, urinary volume, urination time, International Prostate Symptom Score, abdominal obesity, glucose levels, systolic blood pressure, insulin levels, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein (odds ratio, 5.14).

“There is a relationship between the presence of AGA and prostate growth-associated urinary symptoms, likely attributable to their pathophysiological similarity,” the authors write.

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