Researchers first divided 545 men into two groups: those who had heart disease and those who did not. Within those groups, men were were further divided when investigators graded the men's hair on a scale of 1 to 5.
For research purposes, 1 was used to describe men with all black hair, and 5 was used to describe men with all white hair. A score of 3 or higher correlated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease, regardless of age and other risk factors. Furthermore, those participants who had damaged or clogged arteries were more likely to have gray hair. Yikes!
While scientists are hesitant to confirm that you can diagnose someone with heart disease just by looking at his or her hair, they also say we aren't far from being able to do so. A larger study of men and women will need to take place before experimenters will officially confirm a direct link.
So what can you do to cut down on your risk for heart disease while also, possibly, preventing a few gray hairs? Step one is getting in a few more steps, upping your fruit and veggie intake, and trying to reduce your stress. If that last sentence has you thinking "Duh!" there are still a few surprising things you can do to protect your heart's health. If you like a nice red wine with dinner, raise your glass because researchers say "three to five alcoholic drinks per week [is] the perfect amount to cut the risk of heart attacks and heart disease."
But let's say you've got your exercise routine down pat and you're doing your best to eat healthy. According to research, your medication might be harming your heart more than it's helping. If you suffer from heartburn, these common anti-heartburn drugs may have serious long-term side effects.
Heart disease is a serious health concern, so why not save yourself some gray hairs now by making a few simple lifestyle changes. Your heart will thank you later.