By Ryan Matsunaga ( | First Posted: Apr 04, 2013 03:20 PM EDT

(Photo : Before My Ken - WikiMedia Commons)

A recent study published the online journal BMJ Open has found that balding men are significantly more likely to have heart problems.

The research was done through a sample of nearly 37,000 people, and found that those that were losing their hair were 32% more likely to have coronary heart disease. When reviewing subjects under the age of 60, that figure jumped to 44% more likely.

Where on the scalp the men were balding also had an effect, with those losing hair at the top or the crown being much more at risk than those with frontal balding.

"[Our] findings suggest that vertex baldness is more closely associated with systemic atherosclerosis than with frontal baldness. Thus, cardiovascular risk factors should be reviewed carefully in men with vertex baldness, especially younger men (who should) probably be encouraged to improve their cardiovascular risk profile," the study found.

To be clear, the results suggest correlation between the two conditions, and not a cause.  The researchers found that the "balding" risk was significantly less than for smoking or obesity.

Researcher Dr Tomohide Yamada, of the University of Tokyo, told BBC, "We thought this is a link, but not as strong as many other known links such as smoking, obesity, cholesterol levels and blood pressure."

"It is important to remember that the study reports an increase in relative risk," Patrick Wolfe, a professor of statistics at University College London, said to Bloomberg. "In the meantime, it's a case of focusing on the things that we can control -- our diet, exercise regimes and other risks factors -- to lower our overall risk for heart disease."

So if you're worried about heart problems, you should start living a healthier lifestyle before you start worrying about your hair.

Doireann Maddock, a cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation, put it best saying, "it's more important to pay attention to your waistline than your hairline."

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