Gray hair? Make an appointment with the cardiologist

What if the risk of heart attacks was visible to the naked eye and linked to the number of gray and white hairs? At least that’s what Egyptian researchers say when they claim that this visible factor of age is a sensible and significant marker of the risk of cardiovascular disease.

We know that the presence and concomitance of cardiovascular risk factors are the cause of premature atherosclerosis. But according to the study, the graying or whitening of the hair could also augur the phenomenon.

To find out if there is a relationship between the number of gray/white hairs and the risk of developing atherosclerosis, the researchers carried out an observational study with 545 male volunteers. The latter after having passed an angiography, were divided into two groups. A group of men with coronary disease and a group without. The study assessed the patients’ age and their cardiovascular risk factors. A hair bleaching measurement score was established as such: score 1 = black hair, score 2 = more black hair than white hair, score 3 = as much black hair as white hair, score 4 = more hair white than black hair and score 5 = only white hair. Researchers observed that a high hair whitening score greater than a score of 3 was associated with a greater risk of heart disease.

A visible heart risk

The degree of hair whitening therefore seems to be related to the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Looking at biological age and its signs, rather than actual age, might be more reliable. According to the authors of this study, the origin of this early change in hair color could be related to stress. This would create an imbalance between the cells that play a role in accelerating the process of melanocyte degradation. Having gray hair early should therefore encourage screening with a cardiologist.

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You guessed it, dyeing your hair doesn’t change anything…

Amr Abdel Aziz ElFaramawy The degree of hair graying as an independent risk marker for coronary artery disease, a CT coronary angiography study. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110260817300807


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