Men who go bald on the crown of the head also have their risk of heart disease increased by a half, say scientists.

Those with the classic bald spot, which has afflicted a lot of middle-aged men in recent times) were 52 per cent more likely to have coronary artery disease than those with a full head of hair, they found.

Their study, involving almost 40,000 men, showed that those whose hairlines were only receding were 22 per cent more at risk of heart disease—a level the researchers said was not statistically significant.

Men with both receding hairlines and crown-top baldness were 69 per cent more likely to suffer coronary artery disease than those who had kept all their hair. The findings came in a review of six studies by scientists from Tokyo University, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Doctors do not yet fully understand the link between baldness and coronary artery disease. Experts believe men with high levels of testosterone are more likely to lose their hair, especially if baldness already runs in the family, and testosterone is also linked to heart disease. The hormone can damage hair follicles.

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