Grey hair is a normal side effect of the aging process. It is also considered a sign of nobility and the wisdom of a person. However, a team of scientists wanted to uncover if there is any link between the presence of premature growth of grey strands of hair and some possible conditions. It turns out that our hair can actually communicate some upcoming health issues, especially heart disease.
All 545 Participants in the Study Were Adult Males Only
A team of scientists at the Cairo University in Egypt presented their report during the EuroPrevent 2017 event regarding their research on grey hair. Their study collected data from 545 participants. All of them were adult men who agreed to take multi-slice computed tomography or CT. This way, scientists managed to determine whether they had coronary heart disease or not.
Based on the results of the tomography, the participants were grouped in patients and healthy individuals. The color of their hair was determined through a hair whitening score. Grade one means pure black hair while grade five describes a person with pure white hair. At the same time, scientists recorded factors for each participant that signaled the risk of CAD. These are diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking, and family cases of CAD.
Grey Hair Indicate Both Chronological and Biological Age
The results of the study suggest that the hair whitening score, age, dyslipidemia, and hypertension are the only independent predictors of heart disease. Hair whitening was predicted only by age. This means that grey hair indicates the chronological but also the biological age of a person. It could also indicate a higher risk of coronary artery disease.
Several complex agents are actually triggering the greying process. These can be inflammation, dysfunctional DNA repair, oxidative stress, and hormonal changes. The fact that cells are losing their power to grow is also a reason for going grey.
“More research is needed on cutaneous signs of risk that would enable us to intervene earlier in the cardiovascular disease process.”
However, the authors of the study urge further research to be conducted in this direction. Dermatologists can discover more about the genetic causes, but also the environmental features that turn people’s hair white. Also, the authors highlight the fact that the study included male participants only. The scientific world needs further comprehensive studies to settle the matter.
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