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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 72, n° 2
pages 321-327 (février 2015)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.11.008
accepted : 6 November 2014
Original Articles

Association of premature hair graying with family history, smoking, and obesity: A cross-sectional study

Hyoseung Shin, MD a, Hyeong Ho Ryu, MD b, Junghee Yoon, MD c, Seongmoon Jo, MD b, Sihyeok Jang, MD b, Mira Choi, MD b, Ohsang Kwon, MD, PhD b, d, e, Seong Jin Jo, MD, PhD b, d, e,
a Department of Dermatology, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea 
b Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea 
c 306 Supplementary Battalion, Korea Army, Uijungbu, Korea 
d Institute of Human-Environment Interface Biology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 
e Laboratory of Cutaneous Aging and Hair Research, Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea 

Reprint requests: Seong Jin Jo, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.

Many researchers have been concerned about the association of hair graying with systemic diseases. However, the common factors associated with hair graying and systemic diseases have not been elucidated.


This study aimed to identify risk factors for premature hair graying (PHG) in young men.


We conducted a cross-sectional study using questionnaires in young men. After a pilot study that included 1069 men, we surveyed 6390 men younger than 30 years about their gray hair status and various socioclinical characteristics.


The age of participants in the main survey was 20.2 ± 1.3 years (mean ± SD). Of the 6390 participants, 1618 (25.3%) presented with PHG. Family history of PHG (odds ratio [OR], 12.82), obesity (OR, 2.61), and >5 pack-years history of smoking (OR, 1.61) were significantly associated with PHG. In the multivariate analysis, family history of PHG (OR, 2.63) and obesity (OR, 2.22) correlated with the severity of PHG.


Owing to the use of questionnaires, the possibility of recall bias exists. Women were not evaluated in this study.


Smoking, family history of PHG, and obesity are important factors associated with PHG.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Key words : body mass index, gray hair, obesity, premature hair graying, smoking

Abbreviations used : BEPSI-K, BMI, CI, OR, PHG

 The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
 Funding sources: None.
 Conflicts of interest: None declared.

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