Researchers presented data at the 69th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India this week that links early hair loss and graying to an elevated risk of heart disease in men under 40 years old. The data showed that compared to those with no heart disease, men under 40 years old with coronary artery disease had a higher prevalence of premature hair loss (50% vs 30%) and premature graying (49% vs 27%). Adjusted for age and cardiovascular risk factors, males in the study who presented with premature balding or greying had 5.6 and 5.3 times greater risk of coronary artery disease respectively. In the entire study, premature balding and greying were the most reliable indicators of coronary artery disease; even greater than obesity (4.1 times greater risk), diabetes, hypertension, family history, dyslipidemia, and smoking. Premature hair loss and graying are typically a result of a combination of family history, stress, insufficient sleep, and poor diet. It is important to emphasize that losing your hair is not something that causes heart disease, but rather something that can help to identify someone with a higher risk of heart disease.
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Have you noticed a similar trend among patients with heart disease? What are some things that we can do to reduce stress? How many hours of sleep are you getting every night and is it enough?