Almost 300 Genetic Regions Linked to Male Pattern Baldness

The findings greatly increase the number of known genetic markers linked with baldness in men; a previous large study identified just eight such markers. These genetic variants could be used to predict a man's chance of severe hair loss. As of now, the scientists can't confidently predict results for individuals, but they can "identify subgroups of the population for which the risk of hair loss is much higher", lending to the belief that the algorithm will continue to improve.

The embarrassing situation of male pattern baldness has earned many a moniker and phrase from "chrome dome" to "highway" through the course of the past two centuries.

"We are still a long way from making an accurate prediction for an individual's hair loss pattern", Marioni said in a statement. According to a British team of experts working a research on hair loss, it is actually a very complicated genetically.

In the present study, researchers found that 14 percent of the participants with a submedian genetic score had severe MPB, and 39 percent had no hair loss.

Forty of the genetic variations were located on the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers, the researchers said.

Young men whose parents have more scalp than hair usually contemplate with anxiety whether they have a bald future themselves.

The study's other lead author, Dr. David Hill, notes that the study did not collect data on the age of baldness onset, but only on hair loss pattern.

And 58 percent of those with the top 10 percent count of baldness genes also had some hair loss.

Men like Prince William, who lose their hair at around the same time as their father did, may be unsurprised to learn that 80 per cent of male pattern baldness is passed down in our genes. Most are fated to at least have their hair thin out.

The study was performed by collecting genomic and health information from the UK Biobank of over 52,000 men, aged between 40 years to 69 years.

Researchers searching for the genetic roots of hair loss say they've found more than 280 different genes are involved. The findings could provide possible targets for drug development to treat baldness, according to the researchers. The real cause of hair loss is still unclear, but United Kingdom scientists might be one step closer to understanding why it's so prevalent.

Before the new study, by researchers at Edinburgh University and published in the journal PLOS Genetics, only a handful of genes related to baldness had been identified.

  • Delores Daniels