What you need to know about gray hair and heart health – KPRC Houston

A study of 545 men found the ones with “salt-and-pepper” gray hair had a higher risk of coronary artery disease than counterparts without gray hair.

The study links gray hair with an increased risk of heart disease in men despite age or other risk factors.

KPRC meteorologist Justin Stapleton started going gray at a young age and said it runs in his family.

“My mother was actually fully gray when she was 35. My grandfather was as well and I’ve had most of this (gray hair) since I was 21, 22. So, hopefully we are bucking the trend,” Stapleton said.

The study said the hardening and narrowing of arteries and the graying of hair both rely on a similar biological process. It’s researchers claim graying hair (even premature) could be a warning sign of how old your body thinks it is.

It’s an interesting theory, but cardiothoracic surgeon with Memorial Hermann-Memorial City/ UT Health Dr. Randall Wolf, is not buying it.

“Everybody eventually gets gray hair but not everybody has coronary disease, so I think it’s a little premature to look at somebody and say ‘oh my God he’s probably going to pop over tomorrow of a heart attack’ because in fact a lot of people have coronary disease that don’t have gray hair,” Wolf said.

Instead, he said the most common risk factor that people do not know is family history.

“I think it’s two factors, one is the genetics may be there,” Wolf said. “Then those people better watch their weight, watch their diet, get adequate exercise; stress is another one.”

Wolf says obesity is the worst contributing factor.

He encourages everyone to disclose family history to your doctor and get an annual exam, which he said is easier than worrying about gray hair.

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