News | Cardiac Diagnostics | April 14, 2017

Grey Hair Linked With Increased Heart Disease Risk in Men

Observational study finds high hair whitening score associated with increased CAD risk independent of chronological age and established cardiovascular risk factors

Grey Hair Linked With Increased Heart Disease Risk in Men

April 14, 2017 — Grey hair has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease in men, in research presented recently at EuroPrevent 2017, April 6-8 in Malaga, Spain. EuroPrevent is an annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

“Ageing is an unavoidable coronary risk factor and is associated with dermatological signs that could signal increased risk,” said Dr. Irini Samuel, a cardiologist at Cairo University, Egypt. “More research is needed on cutaneous signs of risk that would enable us to intervene earlier in the cardiovascular disease process.”

Atherosclerosis and hair greying share similar mechanisms such as impaired DNA repair, oxidative stress, inflammation, hormonal changes and senescence of functional cells. This study assessed the prevalence of grey hair in patients with coronary artery disease and whether it was an independent risk marker of disease.

This was a prospective, observational study which included 545 adult men who underwent 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 patient’s 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.

The researchers found that a 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.

“Atherosclerosis and hair greying occur through similar biological pathways and the incidence of both increases with age,” said Samuel. “Our findings suggest that, irrespective of chronological age, hair greying indicates biological age and could be a warning sign of increased cardiovascular risk.”

Samuel said asymptomatic patients at high risk of coronary artery disease should have regular check-ups to avoid early cardiac events by initiating preventive therapy.

“Further research is needed, in coordination with dermatologists, to learn more about the causative genetic and possible avoidable environmental factors that determine hair whitening,” she added. “A larger study including men and women is required to confirm the association between hair greying and cardiovascular disease in patients without other known cardiovascular risk factors.”

She concluded: “If our findings are confirmed, standardization of the scoring system for evaluation of hair greying could be used as a predictor for coronary artery disease.”

For more information:

Related Content

Male Triathletes May Be Putting Their Heart Health at Risk
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | January 09, 2018
Competitive male triathletes face a higher risk of a potentially harmful heart condition called myocardial fibrosis,...
ERT Acquires iCardiac Technologies
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 19, 2017
ERT recently announced it has acquired iCardiac Technologies, a provider of centralized cardiac safety and respiratory...
New Study Suggests Protein Could Protect Against Coronary Artery Disease

Patients with no obstructed blood flow in the coronary arteries had higher levels of CXCL5 (blue) compared to patients with moderate levels (green) or lower levels (yellow) of CXCL5, who had increased severity of coronary obstructions (indicated by the arrows). Credit: Schisler lab

News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 07, 2017
December 7, 2017 — The buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries is an unfortunate part of aging.
E-cigarettes Most Likely to be Used by Alcohol Drinkers and Former Cigarette Smokers, at American Heart Association (AHA), #AHA2017.
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 06, 2017
December 6, 2017 — Electronic cigarettes are more frequently used by people who recently quit smoking and alcohol dri
Lack of sleep may cause heart disease in older women. American heart Association, #AHA2017
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 06, 2017
December 6, 2017 — Older women who do not get enough sleep were more likely to have poor cardiovascular health, accor
New Tool Predicts Risk of Heart Attack in Older Surgery Patients
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 05, 2017
A tool designed to more accurately predict the risk of heart attack in older patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery...
EPIC Norfolk prospective population study showed any physical activity is better than none in older adults in preventing cardiovascular disease.

The EPIC Norfolk prospective population study showed any physical activity is better than none in older adults in preventing cardiovascular disease.

News | Cardiac Diagnostics | November 24, 2017
November 24, 2017 — Any physical activity in the elderly is better than none at all for reducing cardiovascular risk,
Analytics 4 Life Presents Clinical Data on Machine-Learned Cardiac Imaging Technology at TCT 2017
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | November 01, 2017
Analytics 4 Life announced it will be presenting new clinical data on the company's ongoing Coronary Artery Disease...
American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca Launch One Brave Idea Science Innovation Center
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | October 20, 2017
The American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca announced the opening of the One Brave Idea Science Innovation...
Overlay Init