Home > Uncategorized > Cortisol and heart attack prediction from hair samples

Cortisol and heart attack prediction from hair samples

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,600703,00.html

Gist – Taking readings of cortisol from hair samples can lead to a clearer understanding of an individuals stress history
Tags – cortisol, hair samples, heart attacks, hair, stress levels

High levels of cortisol in hair were associated with heart attacks… new way to research chronic stress… hair on your head is dead, but its follicle, or root, is alive. Substances like cortisol, which get released into the bloodstream when you’re stressed, can seep into the follicle from the tiny blood vessels in the skin of the scalp… most people have many months’ worth of records of cortisol levels sitting on top of their heads… cortisol persists in the hair for at least six months, and in the case of several Peruvian mummies, up to 1,500 years… took hair samples from 120 men who checked into the cardiac unit of the Meir Medical Center in Israel. Half of the men were diagnosed with heart attacks, while the other half had other diagnoses like chest pain and infection… analyzed the cortisol levels in the 1.2 inches (3 cm) of hair closest to the scalp, representing about the last three months of the patients’ lives… found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in men who had heart attacks compared with men who had other illnesses. When the researchers split the men into quartiles based on their cortisol levels, they found that of the men with the lowest levels, 32 percent had heart attacks. In the men in the uppermost quartile of cortisol, that number jumped to 68 percent…r esults held even after controlling for other heart-attack risk factors like cholesterol levels and body mass index (a measure of body fatness)… it could be a noninvasive way to measure stress over time…

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