Washington: Hair strands contain valuable information about stress levels in senior citizens, which can be used to determine an individual`s cardiovascular disease risk, a new study has found.Unlike a blood test that captures a snapshot of stress hormone levels at a single point in time, a scalp hair analysis can be used to view trends in levels of the stress hormone cortisol over the course of several months.This approach allows researchers to have a better sense of the variability in cortisol levels.The study found seniors who had higher long-term levels of the stress hormone cortisol were more likely to have cardiovascular disease."Like high blood pressure or abdominal fat, the findings suggest elevated cortisol levels are an important signal that an individual is at risk of cardiovascular disease," one of the study`s lead authors, Laura Manenschijn, MD, of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands said.
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