Hair Provides Proof of Link Between Chronic Stress and Heart Attack

Researchers have found the first direct, biological evidence showing how chronic stress plays an important role in heart attacks.

Stressors have been linked to the increased of cardiovascular disease, but until now there has been no biological marker that could be used to measure chronic stress. But researchers have developed a method to measure levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in hair — providing an accurate assessment of stress levels in the months prior to a heart attack.

According to Eurekalert:

“In the study, hair samples 3 cm long were collected from 56 male adults who were admitted to the Meir Medical Centre in Kfar-Sab, Israel suffering heart attacks. A control group, made up of 56 male patients who were hospitalized for reasons other than a heart attack, was also asked for hair samples. Higher hair cortisol levels corresponding to the previous three months were found in the heart attack patients compared to the control group.”

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