Health Talk: Grey Hair Indicator Of Heart Disease – Scientists
A recent study has linked grey hair in men with an increased risk of heart disease.
The study by EuroPrevent 2017 researchers assessed how common grey hair
was in patients with coronary artery disease, and whether it was a
They observed 545 adult men, most of whom were in their 50s, that
doctors suspected had heart disease and had the men undergo diagnostic
The men were then divided into groups, depending on
whether they actually had heart disease, and how much grey or white hair
they had. Researchers also took note of a person’s traditional risk
factors for heart disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and a
family history of the disease.
Here’s what they found: People who had equal parts of their natural hair
colour and white or grey hair had a higher risk of coronary artery
disease than their counterparts who had no or little grey hair. That was
also true independent of their age and other risk factors for heart
disease. People who were diagnosed with heart disease also had a
statistically significant higher likelihood of having grey or white hair
than those who didn’t have heart disease.
The two conditions may seem wildly unrelated, but researchers says that
atherosclerosis, a condition in which there is buildup of fat,
cholesterol, and other matter in and on a person’s artery walls, and
greying hair have similar mechanisms, such as impaired DNA repair,
oxidative stress, inflammation, and hormonal changes. “Atherosclerosis
and hair greying occur through similar biological pathways, and the
incidence of both increases with age,” ”
Irini Samuel, MD, a cardiologist at Cairo University in Egypt who worked on the research, says in a press release.
“Our findings suggest that, irrespective of chronological age, hair
greying indicates biological age and could be a warning sign of
increased cardiovascular risk,” Irini Samuel said.
Allan Stewart, MD, director of aortic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital,
tells Yahoo Beauty that the findings are “very surprising.
” Grey hair is a marker of ageing, which is also a risk factor for heart
disease, but there are many people who have premature grey hair, he
“Your body may be subject to other ageing, including coronary arteries, if you’re prematurely gray,” he says.