New research has linked early hair loss with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Scientists from France and Canada have shown that the risk of developing the potentially fatal condition is almost doubled if a person starts going bald in their early 20s.
The healthcare specialists looked at a 669 middle-aged men, 388 with a history of prostate cancer and 281 without.
They found that five per cent of those without the condition started going bald by the age of 20, while 9.5 per cent of those with prostate cancer recalled losing hair at that age.
Writing in the Annals of Oncology, the scientists claimed that there are two possible explanations - baldness and prostate cancer share a common genetic cause, or raised testosterone levels are responsible for both.
Co-author Professor Philippe Giraud, from the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, warned: "At 20 there's a very strong correlation between baldness and the risk of prostate cancer."
Some 37,000 British men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, according to the Prostate Cancer Charity.
1 Giraud, Philippe et al. "Male pattern baldness and the risk of prostate cancer". Annals of Oncology. Tuesday, February 15th 2011.
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