Ontario: High levels of the stress hormone cortisol in hair may be a strong predictor of heart attacks months in advance, said Canadian researchers in the journal Stress. Issues such as jobs, marital or financial problems are linked to an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks. But until now a biological marker was not available to measure chronic stress and so predict -- several months in advance -- who may be most at risk of a heart attack.
The heart attack patients were found to have higher cortisol levels in their hair. And after accounting for known risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking and a family history of coronary artery disease, "hair cortisol content emerged as the strongest predictor of acute myocardial infarction," the study concluded. -Bureau Report
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