The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A shave a day keeps strokes away

London, Feb. 6 (Reuters): Men who don’t shave every day enjoy less sex and are 70 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke than daily shavers, a new study shows.

A team at Bristol University, which examined the link between shaving, coronary heart disease and stroke in 2,438 middle-aged Welsh men, said men who did not shave every day were more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

The findings also show that such men are less likely to be married and are more likely to be blue-collar workers. They have fewer orgasms, tend to be shorter, and to suffer from angina.

“The association between infrequent shaving and death is probably due to underlying smoking and social factors, but a small hormonal effect may also exist,” Professor Shah Ebrahim, of the department of social medicine, said in a statement.

He said the association with stroke did not fall away after discounting lifestyle factors and remained unexplained.

Over the course of the 20-year study, there were 835 deaths, the team reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology. In all, 45 per cent of the men who shaved less than daily died, compared with 31 per cent of those who shaved at least daily.

Many of the excess deaths were due to higher rates of smoking and the poorer lifestyles of men who did not shave daily but the scientists said this did not explain their substantially raised risk of strokes.

Ebrahim said the link between circulating sex hormones and beard growth was first established when a man on a remote island in the Hebrides noticed that his beard grew vigorously when he was about to rejoin his girlfriend on the Scottish mainland.

He said the low frequency of orgasm in men who did not shave regularly might be because they had low levels of testosterone or might simply reflect the fact that they were unmarried and had less opportunity for sex.

One possible explanation for the raised risk of stroke was that levels of circulating sex hormones in the body might influence the atheroma process in which fatty deposits build up in the arteries.

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