Alopecia Areata is Associated with Increased Expression of Heart Disease Biomarker Cardiac Troponin I
Eddy Hsi Chun Wang, Leopoldo Santos, Xi Yuan Li, Annie Tran, Sandra S.Y. Kim, Katrina Woo, Jerry Shapiro, Kevin J. McElwee
The development of androgenetic alopecia is associated with a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, but the association of alopecia areata with cardiovascular diseases in humans is largely unexplored. We measured the plasma level of two common cardiovascular disease markers, cardiac troponin I and C-reactive protein, in alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia affected subjects. Also, we investigated the possible presence of pro-apoptotic factors in the plasma of hair loss subjects. The mean plasma cardiac troponin I level was highest in alopecia areata subjects, moderately higher in androgenetic alopecia subjects, and lowest in subjects without hair loss (p < 0.05). Alopecia areata subjects not receiving treatments had highest levels of cTnI (p < 0.05). Alopecia areata plasma samples with high cardiac troponin I levels also induced significantly higher rates of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in cell culture assays. The results suggest the potential for increased heart remodelling. Close monitoring of cardiovascular health in alopecia areata subjects, as well as subsets of androgenetic alopecia patients, may be appropriate.