Hair Greying and Heart Disease: Lessons from 545 Egyptian Men

Lessons from 545 Egyptian Men

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Cardiovascular disease is a top cause of death around the world. Many of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease have come to be well known including smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol and aging.

Researchers from Egypt set out to test the hypothesis that hair graying is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) independent of chronological age.

Their study included 545 males with suspected coronary artery disease who underwent a computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA). Patients were divided into subgroups according to the percentage of gray/white hairs (Hair Whitening Score, HWS) and to the absence or presence of coronary artery disease.

Overall, coronary artery disease was prevalent in 80% of study patients. Patients with coronary artery disease had statistically significant higher “hair whitening score” (32.1% vs 60.1%, p < 0.001) and significant coronary artery calcification (<0.001). Multivariate regression analysis showed that age, hair whitening score, hypertension and dyslipidemia were independent predictors of the presence of atherosclerosis.

The conclusion of the study was that a higher degree of white hairs (hair whitening score) was associated with increased coronary artery calcification and risk of coronary artery disease independent of chronological age and other established cardiovascular risk factors.


ElFaramawy AAA, et al. The degree of hair graying as an independent risk marker for coronary artery disease, a CT coronary angiography study. Egypt Heart J. 2018.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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