Can Having Gray Hair Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack

Recent studies claims that the unusual and untimely transition of the hair color from usual to gray can be a signal of a point of development of a high risk of heart disease, especially for men. In such cases, the chances of the damage of the arteries carrying the blood to the heart, increase.

A lot of cardiologists these days have started noticing the hair color in their prognosis while examining a patient with a probable case of heart disease for a very simple logical reason that the biological pathways for atherosclerosis and greying of hair are same and the incidence of both of these increase with age.

Scientists have found out various biological mechanisms that occur during a coronary artery disease which leads to the development of grey hair like oxidative stress, impaired DNA repair, halting of cell growth, hormonal changes and inflammation in some cases. A combined presence of grey hair and the existence of any of these mentioned conditions, confirm the presence of a cardiovascular disorder.

Can Having Gray Hair Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack

A Study to establish a link between gray hair and cardiovascular diseases

A study was conducted to confirm the relation of grey hair with the cardiovascular disease in which a sample size of 545 adult men was chosen. Women were kept out of the scope of the study as they tend to color their hair on a regular basis and therefore the quality of the outcome would not have been accurate.


During the study, the subjects were made to go through a multi sliced computed tomography and coronary angiography for the detection of cardiovascular disease. Based on the outcome, the subjects were then divided into various subgroups, as per the presence or absence of grey hair, volume of grey hair and the existence of absence of a cardiovascular disease.

For the purpose of categorization a hair whitening score index was deployed where in 5 was used in cases of pure white hair, 4 was used if the majority of hair were white with very few black, 3 meant the existence of equal, black and white hair, 2 was used in cases where the subject had more black hairs in comparison to white and 1 was used in cases where the subject had pure black color hair. Also, a data on genetic, traditional and family history of cardiovascular disorders including hypertension, coronary heart disease, dyslipidemia and diabetes was collected during the study.


The outcome of the study revealed that a hair whitening score of 3 or more indicates a high probability of risk of coronary artery disease. Further it was also found that in the patients who were already suffering from coronary heart disease, had a high hair whitening score (3 or above).

Physicians have started applying the research in their practice to extrapolate the results in the masses. They are using the hair whitening index to evaluate their patients with a probable case of cardiovascular disease.

As an advice for the people, do consult your physician, if you find your hair turning gray before time. This can help in dealing with the disease during the early stages and thereby preventing complications and worsening of the disease.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 18, 2017

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