What Your Skin Says About How Long You’ll Live

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Here’s even more reason to worry about wrinkles — women with fewer age lines tend to have lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart disease and stroke and a greater chance of outliving their more wrinkled friends.

In a new study published in the Journals of Gerontology, researchers from Unilever–a food, home, and personal care product supplier–and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands collaborated to untangle the relationship between how old people looked and their risk of heart disease, to see if a person’s perceived age had an effect on the health of their heart.

The scientists studied 260 women whom they separated into two groups based on high and low risk of heart disease. They then assessed the youthfulness of the women’s appearance by analyzing their facial appearance and evaluating the wrinkles on their upper inner arm, which, unlike the face, is least likely to show signs of premature aging from the sun.

For the first time, the team found a relationship between appearance and blood pressures; the women who looked more youthful also had lower blood pressure and heart disease risk. But was it their biology that was helping them to look younger and to avoid heart disease, or were they more likely to rely on cosmetics or procedures, and therefore be more likely to also afford the latest drugs and therapies for keeping their hearts healthy? To solidify the connection, the researchers then studied a group of men and women from families with long lived members. Again, they found that compared to a control group of people who lived to average life expectancy, these men and women were more youthful looking and had fewer wrinkles.

So what’s their secret? The scientists hope that by studying the aging of these individuals, they can identify whatever is contributing to their youthful skin, and hopefully understand how that is linked to their better heart health and longevity as well.

6 comments
jtennis73
jtennis73

It's interesting to know that a person's facial appearance is linked to various diseases. Maybe, the expression, "Beauty is only skin deep", isn't true after all. Read more on health news at http://fitnessandhealthmatters.com

haehc
haehc

(i think a person's youthfulness also depends greatly on their genetics) my mother is 50 years old and is still being mistaken as a 20 year old and thus being an 18 year old many people mistaken me for a 12 year old and I don't believe my youthful appearance doesn't necessarily make me more susceptible to using cosmetics thank you very much and I actually pride myself for not wearing any makeup

Anna888
Anna888

Hmm, how about those pictures of terribly wrinkled people in Asia or Africa, who are so old and  yet hale? I wonder if this study applies only to Westerners? I think there's quite a few "ifs" about it.....

DJS
DJS

"Here's even more reason to worry about wrinkles".   The author is presuming that the reader is "worrying about wrinkles." What are the other reasons people  should  be worried about wrinkles? Why weren't men included in the study?

 Were they more likely to rely on cosmetics or PROCEDURES?" The researchers did not control for these factors?!!They included women in the study who had had PROCEDURES? What about SMOKING which is likely to cause premature aging of the skin as well increase the risk of heart disease? Also noteworthy is that the study was partially funded by Unilever " a food, home and personal care product supplier". What is Unilever's stake in this study?

This study seems highly flawed to me. I'm not about to worry about the study,or about wrinkles.My father died suddenly at age 51 of a heart attack. His skin was very smooth, incidentally.

DJS
DJS

The study is flawed for numerous reasons.The  researchers did not screen out those who had cosmetic procedures, which was a rookie error which would not have made it past my undergrad professors, To compound the error,the researchers include men in the second study. ,while the first included women , throwing the date off further.Compare Apples to Apples, not Apples to Fruit Salad ,when conducting research.

How does adding a  second study which compares a group of men and women who come from families with long  lived family members "solidify data"which did not control for smoking.

What about smokers from families with long lived non-family members? I haven't done a research study.but I'd wager that a heavy smoker from a long lived family would not fare as well as a non-smoker from a long lived family.

This study is more full of holes that Swiss Cheese.

My take away conclusion: I need to start wearing sunscreen.I wouldn't count on the hopeful decrease in new wrinkle formation lowering my cardiac risks, but it will decrease my risk of developing melanoma, other skin cancers.brown spots and wrinkles.

My smooth skinned father who died suddenly at age 51, came from a "long lived family."