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Gene linked to baldness 'discovered'

Losing hair? Blame your mom and dad for a new study suggests that men could inherit baldness from either parent.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 14, 2008 18:08 IST

Losing hair? Blame your mom and dad for a new study has revealed a genetic link which suggests that men could inherit baldness from either parent.



Previous studies found a genetic association between male pattern baldness, the most common form of the condition where hair is lost in a well-defined pattern beginning above both temples, and the maternal side of the family only.



Now, an international team claims to have discovered a gene mutation which, when combined with a previously uncovered genetic abnormality, is linked to a seven-fold increase in the risk of developing male pattern baldness.



The team, led by King's College London, analysed more than 1,100 men and found a genetic variation on chromosome 20 that increased the risk of male pattern baldness in them, the British media reported.



"It's been long recognised that that there must be several genes causing male pattern baldness. Until now, no one could identify those other genes.



"If you have both the risk variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on X-chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold," co-researcher Brent Richards of McGill University said.