Gray Hair Could Be A Sign Of Increased Cardiovascular Risk In Men

First Posted: Apr 11, 2017 03:30 AM EDT

A new study indicates that men with more gray hair could be at greater risk of heart disease. The study involved 545 adult men.

The findings of the study were presented at Euro Prevent 2017, an annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC). It was held at Malaga in Spain on April 6 to April 8, 2017.

In the study, the scientists examined the occurrence of gray hair in men diagnosed with coronary artery disease that is caused by atherosclerosis. Irini Samuel, a cardiologist from Cairo University in Egypt, said that the graying of hair and atherosclerosis take place in the same biological pathways, and the frequency of both heightens with age.

The team graded the quantity of gray hair using the hair whitening score. This includes one denoting pure black hair, two to black more than white, three stating black equals white, four meaning white more than black and five signifying purely white. The researchers also gathered data on cardiovascular risk factors that include diabetes, hypertension, family history of coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia and smoking.

The results showed that the hair whitening score graded three or more was linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Those with coronary artery disease had a higher hair whitening score and higher coronary artery calcification compared to those that did not have coronary artery disease, according to News 18.

The graying of hair was linked to heart disease in this new study. Meanwhile, Samuel said that a larger study is needed to confirm the links between hair graying and cardiovascular disease in people without other known cardiovascular risk factors.

In the previous study, in 2011, it suggests a link between stress and the gray hairs. It showed that long-term exposure to stress that affects the DNA could modify the genes that give the hair its color. Meanwhile, in 2009 study, it suggests that losing the color of hair as humans get older is due to the creation of less and less of a special protective protein, which shields the hair in opposition to a natural process of bleaching from the inside, according to Science Alert.

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