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Stubble equals trouble: shaving, heart disease and stroke

5 February 2003

How often a man shaves may be a marker of his susceptibility to heart disease, according to new research from the University of Bristol, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology today.

The Caerphilly Study by Professor Shah Ebrahim and colleagues in the Department of Social Medicine examined the link between shaving, coronary heart disease and stroke in 2,438 Welsh men aged 45-59. It found that men who didn't shave every day were more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke during the study's twenty-year follow-up period.

Men who shaved less than once a day were also less likely to be married, had a lower frequency of orgasm, and were more likely to smoke, to have angina, and to work in manual occupations than other men. When these factors were taken into account, these men still had a small (30%) increased risk of death and a substantial (70%) increased risk of stroke.

Professor Ebrahim said: "The association between infrequent shaving and death is probably due to underlying smoking and social factors, but a small hormonal effect may also exist. However, the relation with stroke events remains unexplained by smoking or social factors."

The study was funded by the Stroke Association.

Shaving, Coronary Heart Disease, and Stroke: The Caerphilly Study by Shah Ebrahim, George Davey Smith, Margaret May and John Yarnell, Am J Epidemiol 2003; 157:234-238

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Email: public-relations@bristol.ac.uk
Copyright: 2002 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Wednesday, 05-Feb-2003 16:45:30 GMT