Premature grey hair and hair loss among smokers: a new opportunity for health education?BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7072.1616 (Published 21 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1616
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I am not a scientist, and what I am suggesting is purely based on my
own observations. I have a masters degree in electrical engineering with a
biomedical systems concentration. I consider myself a person with good
analytical skills, and my medical knowledge is above that of the general
population. The reason being that I have been sick for most of my adult
life, I have educated myself as a patient, joined information support
groups, and I spend countless hours doing research in the internet.
For years I have observed the high incidence of premature gray hair among
HIV positive people. Even those who came from a family where the onset of
graying hair start after 50 developed premature gray hair in their
I brought up my observation to my doctor who dismissed it.
Years later, while doing research for my masters, I came across a study
that discussed the fact that the gray hair rat had a low T-cell count. I
wish I had written down the name of the study, but I didn't.
Why am I bringing up all this? Because I wonder if the reason why there is
a link between smoking and gray hair is due to the fact that smoking
damages the inmunologic system. There is a British study on the link
between smoking and faster deterioration among HIV patients.
Thanks for reading this laywoman's suggestions.
Competing interests: No competing interests