A genetic test can tell both men and women if baldness is in their future.
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Female Speaker: Some consider it part of their style, others do everything they can to prevent it. Would you want to find out if baldness was in your crystal ball? Dr. Alan Bauman: Well, this is exciting because it's the first lab test for hair loss. Female Speaker: People hand over a saliva swab. It's taken back to the lab where the DNA analyzed. Researchers look for a genetic variation on the X chromosome that's linked to hair loss. Tom Mastanduono: There is something psychological about having hair. You know it's not totally getting old. Female Speaker: Tom Mastanduono is reading his result right now. Tom Mastanduono: Low risk. Female Speaker: Low risk means you have an 80% chance of holding on to your hair by age 60. High risk means there is 60% chance of severe hair loss by age 40. Tom's 15-year-old son, Eric is up next. Eric Mastanduono: I could see that I'm in high risk, it's a little bit shocking, you know finding out such a young age. Female Speaker: One hundred million Americans have hair loss, about 60 million are men and 40 million are women. Doctors say the gene test puts the power of prevention in the patient's hands. Dr. Alan Bauman: This just gives another piece of information, and then you decide with your doctor what you want to do. Female Speaker: Tom's low risk, but will keep getting hair preservation therapy and high risk Eric won't seek preventive treatment yet. Eric Mastanduono: I really care like right now, this is not of that much importance because you know I've a full head of hair and it doesn't really matter that much. Female Speaker: But he admits. His opinions on his appearance may change in the future.