People with high levels in the hair of cortisol and cortisone, the stress hormones, would be at greater risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
- High levels of stress hormones in the hair would increase the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
- For this, the researchers measured the levels of cortisol and cortisone present in the hair samples of the participants.
- Those over 57 who had high levels were three times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease.
75% of French working people, i.e. three out of four people, say they are at least occasionally stressed by their work, according to a survey carried out in 2019. And we know that stress – especially when it is intense and long – is not good for your health and can have serious consequences such as hypertension, fatigue, depression, according to the National Research and Safety Institute for the prevention of accidents at work and occupational diseases (inrs).
Predicting the risk of cardiovascular disease by analyzing hair
A new studypresented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO), lengthens the list of negative points of stress. Indeed, according to scientists, the levels of glucocorticoids, a class of hormones secreted in response to stress, present in the hair could predict the future risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
“A lot of evidence shows that chronic stress is an important factor in overall health, explains Dr. Eline van der Valk, one of the authors of this study, in a communicated. Our results show that people with long-term high levels of capillary glucocorticoids would be at much higher risk of developing heart and cardiovascular disease.”
During their study, the researchers evaluated the levels of glucocorticoids in 6,341 hair samples from men and women, aged 18 and over. For this, they measured the levels of cortisol and capillary cortisone, two stress hormones that are biomarkers of glucocorticoids.
More cardiovascular risks with high levels of stress hormones
The participants were thus followed for a period of 5 to 7 years in order to study the link between the levels of cortisol, cortisone and cardiovascular risk. Result: people with high levels were twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event such as a stroke or heart attack. This probability was higher from the age of 57 because people were three times more likely to have a cardiovascular event. Nevertheless, the cardiovascular problems observed in those aged 57 and over were not related to capillary cortisone and cortisol.
“Our hope is that hair analysis can be useful, as a test, to help practitioners determine who is most at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, says Elisabeth van Rossum, another author of the study. Then, perhaps it will be possible in the future to target the effects of stress hormones which could thus become a new therapeutic target.”