Biotechnology Medical

Research links grey hair with increased heart disease risk in men

Heart

A new research by scientists in Egypt has established a link between increased risk of heart disease in men to grey hair.

Researchers at Cairo University, Egypt, explain that atherosclerosis and hair greying have similar mechanisms such as impaired DNA repair, oxidative stress, inflammation, hormonal changes and senescence of functional cells. Researchers carried out a prospective, observational study of 545 adult men to assess the prevalence of grey hair in patients with coronary artery disease and whether it was an independent risk marker of disease.

For the study scientists subjected the participants to multi-slice computed tomography (CT) coronary angiography for suspected coronary artery disease. Patients were divided into subgroups according to the presence or absence of coronary artery disease, and the amount of grey/white hair.

The amount of grey hair was graded using the hair whitening score: 1 = pure black hair, 2 = black more than white, 3 = black equals white, 4 = white more than black, and 5 = pure white. Each patients’ grade was determined by two independent observers. Data was collected on traditional cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, dyslipidaemia, and family history of coronary artery disease.

Study found that high hair whitening score (grade 3 or more) was associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease independent of chronological age and established cardiovascular risk factors. Patients with coronary artery disease had a statistically significant higher hair whitening score and higher coronary artery calcification than those without coronary artery disease.

In multivariate regression analysis, age, hair whitening score, hypertension and dyslipidaemia were independent predictors of the presence of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Only age was an independent predictor of hair whitening.

Authors of the study state that further research is needed and that too in coordination with dermatologists, to learn more about the causative genetic and possible avoidable environmental factors that determine hair whitening.

About the author

Anthony Clarke

Anthony holds a masters in Journalism and has been an avid creative writer since his teens. Anthony has got his work featured in a number of publications including Dig Boston, Scout Somerville, Content Standard, STACK, and Spare Change News. As a journalist he has been known for his work on homelessness, local politics, transportation, Latino and immigration issues, and music. As a blogger and press writer, he has worked on topics like religion, local business, video games, social media, and higher education. He was a prizewinner in the Eighth Annual Kingston-Mann Student Research Awards and received his MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Pine Manor College’s Solstice Creative Writing Program. While he still enjoys researching and writing articles, he enjoys working with a team of writers even more.

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