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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Androgenetic alopecia


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Androgenic alopecia
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What is androgenetic alopecia?

What are the signs and symptoms of androgenetic alopecia?

What is androgenetic alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, hair is usually lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples and is usually referred to as male-pattern baldness. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic 'M' shape. Hair also thins near the top of the head, often progressing to partial or complete baldness. The pattern of hair loss in women differs from men (female pattern hair loss). In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness. A variety of genetic and environmental factors likely play a role in causing this condition. Mutations in the AR gene have also been associated with androgenetic alopecia.[1]
Last updated: 8/19/2011

What are the signs and symptoms of androgenetic alopecia?

In addition to male-pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia in men has been associated with several other medical conditions including coronary heart disease and enlargement of the prostate. Additionally, prostate cancer, disorders of insulin resistance (such as diabetes and obesity), and high blood pressure (hypertension) have been related to androgenetic alopecia in men. In women, androgenetic alopecia is associated with an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is characterized by a hormonal imbalance that can lead to irregular menstruation, acne, excess body hair (hirsutism), and weight gain.[1]
Last updated: 8/19/2011

  1. Androgenetic alopecia. Genetics Home Reference. May 2006; Accessed 8/19/2011.