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Wrinkles Can Help Predict Life Span

Update Date: Nov 07, 2013 03:12 PM EST

One of the first signs of aging is the presence of lines. Even though wrinkles and sagging are inevitable, people try their hardest, via expensive skin products or surgery, to hide them. According to a new study's findings, people's obsession with their wrinkles might continue to grow. This study found that women with fewer lines on their faces tend to have lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke and an increased chance of living longer than people with more wrinkles.

For this study, the research team from the food, home and personal care product company, Unilever and Leiden University Medical Center located in the Netherlands examined the relationship between wrinkles and lifespan. The researchers recruited 260 women who they separated into two groups, which were based on the individuals' risk of heart disease. The team proceeded to assess the participants' youthfulness by analyzing their facial appearance. The team focused on wrinkles from the face to the upper inner arm, which usually indicates premature aging due to sun exposure.

The researchers discovered a link between one's appearance and blood pressure levels. They reported that women who looked younger tended to have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease. Despite finding this association, the researchers were unsure whether the relationship was due to genetics or due to the use of expensive products. The researchers reasoned that if people had money to afford products to combat wrinkles, they might also use money to purchase drugs and therapies that promise to keep them healthy.

In order to study what drives the association between a youthful appearance and lower risks of cardiovascular diseases, the researchers gathered a group of men and women who had relatives that lived long lives. The team compared this group of people to people from the control group who lived to average life expectancy and found that the first group of people had fewer wrinkles and appeared more youthful overall.

The researchers believe that genetics might be playing a huge factor. However, they reported that more research would need to be done to determine how the lack of wrinkles is tied to longevity. The study was published in the Journals of Gerontology. 

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