Toenails, a new means to check heart disease, says Study
Smokers, pay Attention! If you don’t know you are at a high risk of developing heart disease, go and took shelter under a clinical laboratory that would help you to identify your level of cardiac risk by measuring the nicotine content of your toenail clippings.
A recent study in Nurses' health conducted by US researchers headed by Dr Wael Al-Delaimy found that measuring the nicotine content in toenail clippings can help predict a woman's heart disease risk.
For the purpose of study researchers amassed toenail clippings of over 62,500 women in 1982. Between 1984 and 1998, to measure the risk of heart disease, they analysed the nicotine content in the toenails. The analysis helped them to know the level of nicotine in those with heart disease was double than those without the cardiovascular condition.
On a scale of 10, the top fifth toenails containing more nicotine were found of those women who were thin, less active, heavy drinkers, had signs of medical ailments such as blood pressure, diabetes and had a family history of suffering a heart disease as compared to those women at the bottom fifth with less nicotine in their toenails, the researchers found.
After considering other risk factors, the researchers came on to the conclusion that those with the top fifth levels of nicotine had almost four times the risk of heart disease than those in the bottom fifth.
During the course of their study, the researchers found over 900 women were diagnosed with heart disease.
This novel analysis of toenails could become a vital tool to check high-risk people in future, especially those having no availability of smoking history, says Dr, Al Delaimy.
The American Journal of Epidemiology study also reported the nicotine contained in toenails was a risk factor for heart disease and that had nothing to do with the number of cigarettes a person smokes.
It is a well known established fact that smokers are at a high risk of heart disease. The earlier study however suggested that both men and women smokers were twice more at risk of heart attack than those who did not smoke.
Also, the toenails' nicotine check is good in knowing facts than merely asking a person whether he use to smoke, or if do so, how many he smokes a day.
Researchers are of the view that these findings will help in future to know the factors responsible for heart disease.
The study however conducted only over women and speaks for their cardiac disease. It does not throw light over male smokers whether measuring nicotine content of their toenail clippings will give the same results.
The details of the study are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
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