hair loss and iron

Low Iron Stores: A Risk Factor For Excessive Hair Loss In Non-Menopausal WomenI found this study really interesting as it cites low iron stores as a possible contributing cause of women’s hair loss. I know one of the first things that usually gets tested when a woman complains of hair loss is the iron levels. Of course there is such a huge range of what is considered normal its hard to tell the optimal level for our body.

Here it is:

European Journal of Dermatology. Volume 17, Number 6, 507-12, November-December 2007, Investigative report

*Abstract

Author(s) : Claire Deloche, Philippe Bastien, Stéphanie Chadoutaud, Pilar Galan, Sandrine Bertrais, Serge Hercberg, Olivier de Lacharrière

Summary : Iron deficiency has been suspected to represent one of the possible causes of excessive hair loss in women. The aim of our study was to assess this relationship in a very large population of 5110 women aged between 35 and 60 years. Hair loss was evaluated using a standardized questionnaire sent to all volunteers. The iron status was assessed by a serum ferritin assay carried out in each volunteer. Multivariate analysis allowed us to identify three categories: “absence of hair loss” (43%), “moderate hair loss” (48%) and “excessive hair loss” (9%). Among the women affected by excessive hair loss, a larger proportion of women (59%) had low iron stores (<\; 40 µg/L) compared to the remainder of the population (48%). Analysis of variance and logistic regression show that a low iron store represents a risk factor for hair loss in non-menopausal women.

The article is broken down into the following areas

Introduction

Materials and Methods

  • Volunteers
  • Hair Loss Assessment
  • Biochemical Measurements
  • Statistical Analysis

Results

  • Hair Loss Quantification
  • Link Between Hair Loss And Serum Ferritin Levels

Discussion

This study, carried out for the first time on a very large cohort of women, provides strong arguments in favor of an association between depleted iron stores and hair loss, particularly excessive hair loss in women before menopause. [click to continue…]

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