Thin on Top? It May Be Your Ticker Talking

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For everyone out there checking out those Rogaine ads, there may be a larger issue to focus on: A study published in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine that links baldness with heart disease. For instance, men who are bald at the crowns of their heads were three times as likely than their more hirsute counterparts to suffer from heart disease. With 22,000 participants, this is the largest study to date on the subject and the first to differentiate between different types of baldness.

So does this mean that the Daddy Warbucks and George Costanzas of the world have to take up yoga and go vegan? Not exactly. "This is a study in a good journal," notes TIME medical contributor Dr. Ian Smith. "But it's just an association — this does not show a cause-and-effect relationship. There are several reasons why people go bald, be they genetic, lifestyle or dermatological. Based on this type of study, bald people shouldn't get crazy about coronary risks." Yet the relationship shouldn't be seen as mere coincidence. Baldness and heart disease are both associated with high levels of testosterone, which, in turn is associated with hypertension and high cholesterol. So if you're thinning a bit on top, it might be worthwhile to keep tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol level.