High levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the hair may indicate heart attack months before it happens.
Canadian scientists investigated how problems at work, in the marriage and financial issues increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and found that there is a biological marker that can measure and even predict a heart attack.
Traditionally, cortisol is measured in the blood system, urine and saliva, but all those matrices show the level of cortisol in the last days and hours — say professors Stan Wen Mind and Gideon Koren of the University of Western Ontario.
However, the hair work is different. On average it grows one centimeter a month, and by research of a six- centimeters- long hair can assess the level of stress in a much longer period.
This was revealed by analysis of hair samples from 56 men who have experienced a heart attack compared to samples of hair of men hospitalized for another illness, which had no relation with cardiovascular disease.