Women who look younger than their years may have lower risks of heart disease and stroke and a greater chance of outliving someone the same age but with more wrinkles, a study announced Thursday suggests.
Published in the Journals of Gerontology, researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and industry scientists from the multinational company Unilever studied 260 women whom they separated into two groups based on high and low risk of heart disease.
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The scientists also rated the women's appearance by analyzing facial appearance and wrinkles on their upper inner arm, which is less likely to show signs of premature aging from the sun compared to the face.
Findings showed that women who had fewer wrinkles and a more youthful appearance had lower blood pressure and heart disease risks.
"We found that the feature in the face that blood pressure was linked to was not skin wrinkles but likely what we term as the 'sag' in the face. The exciting thing is further investigations will enable exact pin-pointing of the feature in the face that signposts an individual's blood pressure," said Dr. David Gunn, senior scientist at Unilever.
In a separate study on men, the scientists found no discernible difference in the appearance of wrinkles and blood pressure, but discovered that men from long-lived families tended to look younger than men in control group of the same age. Both women and men from long-lived families had less skin-wrinkling on the upper arm than control groups of the same age.