So stressed you feel like pulling out your hair?
Save a strand for the doctor. It could end up saving your life.
A new study shows your tresses store a long-term record of your stresses. And testing a few hairs may be able to predict your risk of an imminent heart attack, according to a report from LiveScience.
Troubles at work? Family strife? Money woes? All that angst is stashed in your hair in the form of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, Canadian researchers found.
The hormone gets released in the bloodstream when you're freaking out and seeps into your hair follicles. As the hair grows, it provides a timeline of your anxieties -- and the toll they take on your heart.
Gideon Koren, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, took hair samples from 120 men and measured cortisol levels in the 1.2 inches of hair closest to the scalp. That’s about three months worth of growth.
He found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in men who had heart attacks compared with men who had other illnesses.
The finding, published today in the journal Stress, could pave the way for a noninvasive test that lets doctors know when a patient is suddenly a heart attack waiting to happen.
Baldies, however, need not apply.
How would you score on a stress test? Do tell.