Gray Hair and Heart Disease: Insights from a New Study
Is Gray hair linked to heart disease?
A new study shows early grey hair means you are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack.
Hair whitening can indicate an increased risk of damage to arteries supplying the heart with blood.
Some of the same causes of coronary artery disease(CAD) are also responsible for graying hair.
The causative agent is oxidative stress and inflammation within the cell walls.
The team studied 545 adult men who underwent computed tomography (CT) scans for suspected CAD, which affects the blood vessels to the heart.
Patients were divided into groups according to the degree of CAD and hair color.
A Graying score of 1-5 was assigned to each patient. 1 was the darkest and 5 was the whitest.
A hair-whitening score of three or more was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of coronary artery disease.
Patients with more advanced CAD had higher graying scores than those whose arteries were healthy.
Hair whitening turned out to be an independent predictor of CAD.
The research was presented at EuroPrevent 2017, the annual meeting of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology, in Malaga, Spain.
The researchers did note that:
"A much larger study is needed before we start using hair colour as a measure of heart disease risk."
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