Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 5; Issue 4.3 (December 2017)

Page No.: 4635-4639

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2017.323


Afadhali D. Russa 1, Tumain Haonga 2, Venant F. Mboneko 3, 4Afadhali D. Russa 1, Tumain Haonga 2, Venant F. Mboneko 3, 4.

1 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

2 Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

3 Department of Anatomy, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

4 Mbezi Medical Clinic, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Corresponding Author: Dr. A.D. Russa, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences,  P. O. Box 65001, Dares Salaam, Tanzania. Tel: +255 755 524 771, Fax: +255 22 2150465 E-Mail: adrussa@yahoo.com; drussa@muhas.ac.tz


Introduction: Premature hair graying (PHG) is a relatively common condition affecting up to 50% of the young people before age 30. Hair graying has adverse effects on self esteem, socio-cultural acceptance and may lead to social stigma and discrimination. Studies have linked PHG with a variety of underlying ill-health conditions such as myocardial infarction, cancer, osteopenia, stroke and cirrhosis.  In Tanzania and indeed in Africa at large, PHG is rarely studied. The present study aimed to describe the pattern of onset and anatomical distribution of premature hair graying among the young adult sufferers.

Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study involved 75 participants with the age below 30 years who were selected among students from colleges and universities in Dar es Salaam and the Coast region in Tanzania. Participants were interviewed followed with scalp physical examination and findings filled in a data sheet. The frequency distributions were used to summarize descriptive data whereas for association data a p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The mean and median age of onset was 14.4 years and 14 years respectively with women onset at a younger age than men.  Nearly 3 out of every 4 participants reported to have a family member who had hair graying before the age of 30 years with more males (n=39; 75.0%) than females (n=16; 72.7%) reporting that fact. Only 28.0% had smoked for a period beyond one year while 30.7% had possible nutritional deficiencies during childhood. Over 70% participants reported some form of loss of self–esteem and 45.3% were worried of a possible underlying disease process. Over 90 % of respondents’ perceived that people with PHG were older of their age while 58.7% believed they are diseased.

Conclusions: Premature hair graying clandestinely affects many young people occurring more in men than in women but with the latter sex developing it at a much younger age.  The temporal and parietal scalp areas are the earliest affected and huge proportion of sufferers develops emotional and psychological effects. Due to limited treatment options new methods are needed to address it rising effects.

Key words: Premature, Hair, Graying, Pattern, Occurrence.


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Cite this article: Afadhali D. Russa, Tumain Haonga, Venant F. Mboneko. PREMATURE HAIR GRAYING: PROFILING THE SCALP ANATOMICAL PATTERNS OF OCCURRENCE IN TANZANIA. Int J Anat Res 2017;5(4.3):4635-4639. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2017.323