According to a new study, there could be a link between coronary artery disease and premature graying and hair loss.
Believed to affect young men, the information was presented at the 69th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India on December 03, 2017.
The researchers suggest that both baldness and greying hair are stronger risk predictors of heart disease than obesity.
The study paired 790 men with coronary artery disease who were under the age of 40 against a control group of 1,270 healthy men. Men with heart disease had higher rates of baldness by almost 20%. Participants with premature graying had a rate of 49% VS 27%, when compared to the control group, the researchers discovered.
The study also found that male-pattern baldness was associated with a 5.6x greater risk of coronary artery disease. Premature graying had a 5.3x greater risk.
This elevates them higher than a variety of other risk factors. Those risk factors include diabetes and family history. In comparison, obesity is only associated with a greater risk of 4.1 times.
What Else Did They Discover?
Lead author on the study, Dhammdeep Humane, said the following of the study:
“Men with premature graying and androgenic alopecia should receive extra monitoring for coronary artery disease and advice on lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, exercise, and stress management. Our study found associations but a causal relationship needs to be established before statins can be recommended for men with baldness or premature greying.”
It’s important to note and acknowledge the limitations of a study like this. As Humane says, we need to find a better understanding of the possible connections. As well, this study sampled a relatively small amount of people.
Previous Hair Loss and Heart Disease Examinations
Other studies have been performed that examine the associations between hair loss and heart disease. Some studies have found early-onset baldness to be a strong indication of coronary artery disease risk. There has also never been a confirmed or specific explanation for this connection.
Wild enough, other studies have also indicated that premature hair graying and hair loss can be a useful risk marker for coronary artery disease, especially in those participants who are smokers.
“Baldness and premature greying should be considered risk factors for coronary artery disease,” suggests Kamal Sharma, the principal investigator of the recent study.
“These factors may indicate biological, rather than chronological, the age which may be important in determining total cardiovascular risk. Currently, physicians use common sense to estimate biological age but a validated scale is needed.”