Gene linked to seven-fold increase in baldness risk

Two genetic variants have been identified that could increase the risk of developing male pattern baldness by seven times.

Researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of 1,125 caucasian men assessed for male pattern baldness.

They identified two previously unknown genetic variants on chromosome 20 that substantially increase the risk of baldness.

These findings were confirmed in an additional 1,650 men. Lead researcher Dr Brent Richards, from McGill University, in Montreal said: 'If you have both risk variants on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk increases seven-fold.'

  • Nature Genetics Online 2008.

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