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Baldness May Be Predictor for Fatal Disease

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As if men who start to go bald early on don't have enough to be concerned about, there's a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health that shows they also may be at greater risk of contracting the fatal Lou Gehrig's disease than men who keep their hair.

Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is rare but there is no cure.

The research team led by Elinor Fondell looked at 50,000 men ages 46 to 81 and asked them to remember what their hairline was like when they reached the age of 45.

At approximately age 61, men who reported extensive balding were about three times as likely to have gotten sick with Lou Gehrig's disease than those who never lost their hair.

Still, the numbers were small: 24 who became ill out of the two groups totaling 23,000 men.

Fondell cautioned, "This doesn't mean that bald people should worry" since no cause-and-effect link has yet been established.

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