Men Who Shave More,
Feb. 11, 2003 -- A clean-shaven face may be the sign of
a happy and healthy man. A new study suggests that men
who don't shave daily have fewer orgasms and are more
likely to suffer a stroke than stubble-free men.
British researchers followed 2,438 Welsh men between the
ages of 45 and 59 over 20 years and found their shaving
habits were significantly related to their health in
some unexpected ways.
One-fifth of the men who didn't shave daily were less
likely to be married, had sex less often, and were more
likely to smoke, have heart problems, and work in
manual, blue-collar occupations than other men.
In addition, of the 835 men who died during those 20
years, only 31% were daily shavers compared with the 45%
who shaved less than daily.
Those findings are published in the Feb. 1 issue of the
American Journal of Epidemiology.
Researcher Shah Ebrahim, a professor in the department
of social medicine at the University of Bristol, and
colleagues say they also found a strong association
between shaving frequency and stroke risk.
Men who didn't shave every day were nearly 70% more
likely to have suffered a stroke during the study than
others. And that increase in risk did not go away after
adjusting for other lifestyle factors known to affect
Researchers say hormone levels may be at least one
possible explanation behind the link between shaving and
stroke risk. Low levels of testosterone and high levels
of estrogen produce slower beard growth, and these
hormones may also play a role in the development of
heart disease and stroke.
Although the study also found a slightly higher risk of
death due to heart disease and deaths in general among
less frequent shavers, researchers say those effects
might be due to other factors, such as higher smoking
rates and other negative health habits found among this
group of men.
In fact, after adjusting for these factors, the link
between shaving and these risks became much fuzzier.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, Feb. 1,
WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.