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      Association of Epidemiological and Biochemical Factors with Premature Graying of Hair: A Case–Control Study

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          Abstract

          Background:

          Premature hair graying (PHG) is often a matter of great concern for patients as it is viewed as a sign of increasing age, debility, decreasing vigor, and may lead to low self-esteem and psychological morbidity. Its etiopathogenesis is not completely understood but genetic, and various acquired factors have been implicated. The present study was undertaken to evaluate various epidemiological and biochemical variables associated with PHG.

          Materials and Methods:

          A cross-sectional case–control study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in North India for 1 year which comprised 120 patients and equal number of controls. Various epidemiological variables were recorded and compared to controls. Serum ferritin, serum calcium, serum Vitamin D, serum Vitamin B12, lipid profile, thyroid profile, and fasting blood sugar were measured and compared among cases and controls.

          Results:

          Significantly higher proportion of cases had atopic diathesis, sedentary lifestyle, family history, history of smoking, and higher perceived stress values as compared to controls. Hair oiling seemed to protect against premature graying. Significantly, lower levels of serum calcium, ferritin, Vitamin B12, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and high low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol were observed among cases.

          Conclusion:

          In the light of the present study, further studies with larger sample size are required to establish the definite etiological significance of these variables and formulate various preventive and therapeutic targets to prevent and treat PHG.

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          Most cited references 33

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          A global measure of perceived stress.

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            Perceived Stress Scale: Reliability and Validity Study in Greece

            Objective: To translate the Perceived Stress Scale (versions PSS-4, −10 and −14) and to assess its psychometric properties in a sample of general Greek population. Methods: 941 individuals completed anonymously questionnaires comprising of PSS, the Depression Anxiety and Stress scale (DASS-21 version), and a list of stress-related symptoms. Psychometric properties of PSS were investigated by confirmatory factor analysis (construct validity), Cronbach’s alpha (reliability), and by investigating relations with the DASS-21 scores and the number of symptoms, across individuals’ characteristics. The two-factor structure of PSS-10 and PSS-14 was confirmed in our analysis. We found satisfactory Cronbach’s alpha values (0.82 for the full scale) for PSS-14 and PSS-10 and marginal satisfactory values for PSS-4 (0.69). PSS score exhibited high correlation coefficients with DASS-21 subscales scores, meaning stress (r = 0.64), depression (r = 0.61), and anxiety (r = 0.54). Women reported significantly more stress compared to men and divorced or widows compared to married or singled only. A strong significant (p < 0.001) positive correlation between the stress score and the number of self-reported symptoms was also noted. Conclusions: The Greek versions of the PSS-14 and PSS-10 exhibited satisfactory psychometric properties and their use for research and health care practice is warranted.
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              Towards a "free radical theory of graying": melanocyte apoptosis in the aging human hair follicle is an indicator of oxidative stress induced tissue damage.

              Oxidative stress is generated by a multitude of environmental and endogenous challenges such as radiation, inflammation, or psychoemotional stress. It also speeds the aging process. Graying is a prominent but little understood feature of aging. Intriguingly, the continuous melanin synthesis in the growing (anagen) hair follicle generates high oxidative stress. We therefore hypothesize that hair bulb melanocytes are especially susceptible to free radical-induced aging. To test this hypothesis, we subjected human scalp skin anagen hair follicles from graying individuals to macroscopic and immunohistomorphometric analysis and organ culture. We found evidence of melanocyte apoptosis and increased oxidative stress in the pigmentary unit of graying hair follicles. The "common" deletion, a marker mitochondrial DNA-deletion for accumulating oxidative stress damage, occurred most prominently in graying hair follicles. Cultured unpigmented hair follicles grew better than pigmented follicles of the same donors. Finally, cultured pigmented hair follicles exposed to exogenous oxidative stress (hydroquinone) showed increased melanocyte apoptosis in the hair bulb. We conclude that oxidative stress is high in hair follicle melanocytes and leads to their selective premature aging and apoptosis. The graying hair follicle, therefore, offers a unique model system to study oxidative stress and aging and to test antiaging therapeutics in their ability to slow down or even stop this process.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Trichology
                Int J Trichology
                IJT
                International Journal of Trichology
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                0974-7753
                0974-9241
                Sep-Oct 2018
                : 10
                : 5
                : 211-217
                Affiliations
                Department of Dermatology, SMGS Hospital, GMC, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Devraj Dogra, Department of Dermatology, SMGS Hospital, GMC, Jammu - 180 001, Jammu and Kashmir, India. E-mail: devrajdogra5@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                IJT-10-211
                10.4103/ijt.ijt_39_18
                6290283
                Copyright: © 2018 International Journal of Trichology

                This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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