BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Gray hair is the most overt sign which signals aging. However, its presence might indicate the risk of developing other health problems. A new study suggests that people who have more gray hair might be at a higher risk of heart disease. This research was presented at the EuroPrevent 2017 conference.
Researchers from Cairo University in Egypt discovered that the process during which the hair turns gray and atherosclerosis function similarly. Atherosclerosis is the process during which the arteries become thicker and the blood flows with more difficulty. This is the main cause of strokes.
Thus, gray hair and atherosclerosis are both the products of affected DNA, oxidative stress, hormones, and the inflammation of cells. Besides the fact that they share a common mechanism, they are also more likely to happen during old age.
Gray hair and atherosclerosis might be related
For the study, researchers looked at 545 participants which were suspects of coronary artery disease. They looked if gray hair was a risk factor for the disease. All participants were men, and they were split into groups, depending on the presence or absence of the disease and on the amount of gray hair they had.
Besides, they also looked at the typical risk factors for heart disease. These include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a genetic predisposition for the disease. However, men with more gray hair had a higher heart disease risk, regardless of any other factors. Also, those men who suffered from the disease had a higher degree of grayness in their hair.
A healthy lifestyle might keep the disease under control
Thus, the study might work as a warning. The disease might be asymptomatic, so people who have one or more risk factors should go see their doctors regularly and have check-ups, so that they might avoid an unpleasant cardiac event. If their study gets approved, gray hair might be classified as a risk indicator for coronary artery disease.
This might turn out extremely useful, as around 45 percent of Americans are predicted to develop heart disease by 2035. Also, this would lead to the increase of the healthcare costs for this disease. Thus, health officials recommend that everybody should take all the measures necessary to prevent heart disease.
Despite the cost reductions, it is better to prevent a disease than treat it. Thus, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and performing regular check-ups can help even those people with high risk to avoid developing the disease or keeping it under control.
Image Source: Pexels