March 28, 2011 11:27
About half of the patients who seek hospital treatment for hair loss are now in their 20s and 30s, a report finds. Analysis of health insurance hospital bills released by the National Health Insurance Corporation on Sunday shows that people in their 20s and 30s accounted for 48.4 percent of all 181,707 patients who received hair loss treatment in 2009.
The 46,090 patients in their 30s accounted for 25.3 percent, and the 41,914 in their 20s for 23.1 percent. Some 37,278 or 20.5 percent were in their 40s, and 21,046 or 11.6 percent in their 50s. Teens accounted for 18,390 or 10.1 percent.
Patients with alopecia areata, where small circular patches of hair fall out, topped the list with 137,000, followed by those with scarring alopecia (22,000) and those with androgenetic alopecia or male-pattern baldness (12,000).
Hair loss in young people is mainly caused by westernized eating habits and stress, experts said.
Dermatologist Min Bok-ki said, "People are going through puberty earlier because they eat a lot of meat and fast food, which causes sexual hormones to be released prematurely. As a result men now often start losing their hair in their 20s and 30s rather than in their 40s and 50s."
Among women, excessive dieting also can cause hair loss.
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