Hair tests can be used to analyze whether a person is taking certain chemical substances. However, the function of the hair test was expanded to determine the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, especially in the elderly. High stress hormones in the body can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to the researchers, the test has a distinctive hair than other tests. Unlike a blood test that gives information stress hormone levels at a time, the hair test can show information over the last few months.
Studies show that elderly people with higher levels of stress hormones are higher in a long time have a greater tendency to have heart disease.
Study author, Dr. Laura Menenschijin of Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, said the stress hormone which increases a risk factor of cardiovascular disease. These factors as influential as high blood pressure or abdominal fat.
“Because the hair test can provide information on how the stress hormone levels change over time, then this test is a better tool for evaluating the risk of heart disease,” he said.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism analyze hair samples along the 1.2 inch. Samples were obtained from 283 persons aged 65 to 85 years. The researchers then determined the levels of stress hormones during the last three months.
They found that people with high levels of stress hormones are more likely to have a history of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and diabetes.
“The data show a clear relationship between stress hormones and cardiovascular disease,” said study chairman, Dr. Elisabeth van Rossum, of the Erasmus Medical Center.
He added that the need for additional studies to determine the rules of the stress hormone measurements as an indicator of cardiovascular disease. However, studies have not been able to demonstrate a causal relationship.