Premature graying of hair: An independent risk marker for coronary artery disease in smokers - A retrospective case control study
BACKGROUND: Premature graying of hair as a risk marker among young smokers has a potential of identifying coronary artery disease (CAD) at a very early stage. There is absence of literature that assesses premature graying of hair as an independent marker of CAD in smokers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The present single-centre case control study enrolled a total of 62 consecutive chronic smokers (. 45 years) (Group I) and 60 consecutive young CAD patients (.45 years) who were chronic smokers (Group II). Another group comprising of 114 patients (.45 years) having no smoking history and no cardiac ailments either (Group III) was enrolled as control population. All subjects were males. A detailed history and clinical examination regarding conventional coronary risk factors and carotid intima media thickness was done in both groups.
RESULTS: The carotid intima media thickness, dyslipidemia and blood pressure were significantly higher in group I and II as compared to group III. When the groups were compared for graying of hair, it was found that the group II (i.e., smokers and CAD) had maximum prevalence of graying which was significantly higher than the control as well as smoker groups. The presence of premature graying of hair was associated with 3.24 times the risk of CAD on multiple logistic regression analysis.
CONCLUSION: The presence of premature graying of hair was associated with an increased risk of CAD in young smokers. Premature graying of hair can be used as preliminary evidence by clinicians for classifying patients at risk for premature CAD especially in smokers.
KEYWORDS: Premature Graying, Coronary Artery Disease, Smokers