Chances are good that you know someone with gray hair- even if you don’t know it. In fact, there’s some talk that people are going gray younger and younger these days and scientists only have a partial understanding of why. What we do know is that depending on race/ethnicity, gray hair qualifies as premature if it is acquired in the thirties or forties (or even earlier). Some people are unfortunate enough to get gray hair in their twenties. Gray hair at an early age has a number of potential causes and can potentially be a sign of significant health problems.
The following is a number of things to keep in mind when it comes to gray hair- everything to suspicions of its causes as well as what it may mean if you have a significant level of gray hair. A few strands may not mean anything, but rapidly graying or thinning hair is cause for concern. If you have developed gray hair prematurely and suddenly, consider the following and if necessary, speak to a medical professional for an examination.
6. Heart disease
It turns out that a head full of gray hair might be related to heart disease. This information comes from a European study of 545 men who were separated into groups based on how much gray hair they had, which was based on a scale of one to five. In this case, a score of five indicated extreme levels of gray/white hair, while a level of one indicated only a small amount of gray hair, with three being the average.
The men were also grouped accordingly based on whether or not they had coronary heart disease. For this particular method of grouping, specific documentation regarding any kind of heart-related illnesses the men had was reported; this includes diabetes and hypertension, as well as certain risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, or a family history of heart disease.
The study concluded that those with higher hair scores also had higher rates of heart disease, or at the very least were more likely to possess the risk factors for them, which suggests a correlation between gray hair and heart-related illness. Specifically, for those men with a hair score over three, regardless of their actual age, there was an increased level of heart disease compared to those below three. Ultimately this suggests that the graying of hair can be used to predict the presence, or at least the probability of heart disease in men.