European Journal of Dermatology


The effects of hair loss in European men: a survey in four countries Volume 10, issue 2, March 2000


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Department of Epidemiology, Merck Research Laboratories, BL 1-7, 10 Sentry Parkway, Blue Bell, PA 19422, USA. rhodes@merck.com

Despite the high prevalence and the accepted psychological aspects of male pattern hair loss, few have characterized the effects of hair loss in representative samples of men in different countries. A representative sample of households in 4 European countries (France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) was contacted by an interviewer and resident males 18-40 years of age (n = 1,717) completed a questionnaire designed specifically to evaluate attitudes to hair loss. The questionnaire was comprised of 78 questions translated and pilot-tested using standard methodology into each local language. Questionnaires queried about self-rated hair loss, satisfaction with hair appearance, noticeability of hair loss to others, and bother, concerns and perceptions about hair loss, as well as general physical health (the SF-12 questionnaire) plus three additional questions about mental health. The self-reported degree of hair loss in men was statistically significantly associated (p < 0.001) with all hair-loss specific effects measured, except “limiting job opportunities”. The impact of hair loss was generally consistent in the four countries surveyed, although less pronounced in the United Kingdom. Age was significantly correlated with hair loss (rs = 0.34, p < 0.001). Men with greater hair loss were more bothered, more concerned about looking older due to their hair loss, and less satisfied with their hair appearance. Male pattern hair loss has significant negative effects on hair-loss specific measures in men 18 to 40 years of age in France, Italy, Germany and the UK. The degree that hair loss is perceived as noticeable to others appears to be a significant contributor to these negative effects.