May 27, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

50 Shades Of Death: Early Gray Hair May Indicate Heart Attack Risk In Men

Apr 10, 2017 03:57 AM EDT

A recent study has found that men having gray hair early in their lives bear the risk of suffering a heart attack. Researchers say that increased hair whitening can mean that the arteries supplying blood to the heart are getting damaged.

According to The Telegraph, certain biological mechanisms related to diseases of the coronary artery can also be responsible for their gray hair. These are inclusive of symptoms like impaired DNA repair, oxidative stress, inflammation, hormonal changes, and deferring of cell growth. Researchers say the findings can help in understanding which people carry the highest risks of a heart attack just by having a glance at their hair color.

Researchers also opine that apart from a heart attack, the risk of diseases related to the artery and the gray hair are induced via similar biological pathways. They also say that this can be a sign of increased cardiovascular problem.

According to Mail Online, 545 men were studied under the research. The men were divided into categories depending on their artery condition and hair color. A numerical hair whitening score ranging from pure black at one to pure white at five was used for grading their degree of gray. A score of three or more indicates that the person might be suffering from damaged arteries, high blood pressure, and abnormal fat levels, which are taken as indicators of a heart attack.

Reportedly, the findings of the research suggest that hair graying is linked with biological age and can indicate a warning sign of increased cardiovascular age and heart attack. It happens irrespective of the chronological age. However, researchers can only confirm the link between hair graying and cardiovascular diseases after a more detailed study including a larger number of men and women.

The researchers can use the standardization of the scoring system for the evaluation of hair graying as an indicator of heart attack and other related diseases, only on the confirmation of the findings. This study was initiated by scientists from Florida Atlantic University on finding that having "love handles" can lead to heart problems.

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