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Home Industry News Biomarker link between stress and heart attacks found in hair

Biomarker link between stress and heart attacks found in hair

3rd September 2010

Scientists have isolated a biological marker in human hair which can help to demonstrate and measure the link between chronic stress and heart attacks.

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have found that measuring levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted in times of stress, in strands of hair can offer an accurate image of stress levels in the lead-up to major health events such as heart attacks.

The findings were illustrated by a study of more than 100 male patients, which found higher levels of cortisol in the hair of heart attack patients than those in the control group.

Moreover, it was found that cortisol in hair shafts can provide a portrait of stress levels over a long period of time, offering benefits over traditional measurement methods such as urine and saliva samples.

Dr Gideon Koren, one of the study's leads, explained: "We know that on average, hair grows one centimetre a month, and so if we take a hair sample six centimetres long, we can determine stress levels for six months."

Last month, Ohio State University published data which suggested that social isolation can also play a role in worsening the effects of cardiac arrest.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800050901-ADNFCR

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