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Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Feb 1;157(3):234-8.

Shaving, coronary heart disease, and stroke: the Caerphilly Study.

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Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, United Kingdom.


The relation between frequency of shaving and all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, coronary heart disease, and stroke events was investigated in a cohort of 2,438 men aged 45-59 years. The one fifth (n = 521, 21.4%) of men who shaved less frequently than daily were shorter, were 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. Over the 20-year follow-up period from 1979-1983 to December 31, 2000, 835 men (34.3%) died. Of those who shaved less frequently than daily, 45.1% died, as compared with 31.3% among those who shaved at least daily. Men who shaved less frequently had fully adjusted hazard ratios (adjusted for testosterone, markers of insulin resistance, social factors, lifestyle, and baseline coronary heart disease) of 1.24 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03, 1.50) for all-cause mortality, 1.30 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.71) for cardiovascular disease mortality, 1.08 (95% CI: 0.61, 1.92) for lung cancer mortality, 1.16 (95% CI: 0.90, 1.48) for coronary heart disease events, and 1.68 (95% CI: 1.16, 2.44) for stroke events. The association between infrequent shaving and all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality is probably due to confounding by smoking and social factors, but a small hormonal effect may exist. The relation with stroke events remains unexplained by smoking or social factors.

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