Another Reason You Don’t Want to Look Old

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Worried that droopy eyelids and thinning hair make you look older than you are? It turns out these telltale signs of aging might actually predict an ailment more serious than cosmetic concerns. A new Danish study has found that people with three or four signs of aging (receding hairlines, baldness, fatty deposits around the eyelids and creased earlobes) were 39 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. They were also 57 percent more likely to have a heart attack compared to people their same age that looked physically younger.

Is this bad luck? Not quite. “Looking old for your age is a good marker for poor cardiovascular health,” says the study lead author Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, a professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen.

After following 11,000 people aged 40 or over since the late 1970s, researchers found that these signs of aging only reflect—not cause—heart disease, which, of course, is good news. 

The doctors didn’t say why these signs of aging are associated with poorer health, however, according to Tybjaerg-Hansen, many doctors take into account how patients look for their age when assessing their overall health. The idea is that someone that looks older than they are, must not take care of themselves as well, and are therefore less healthy than someone who looks great for their age.

Sounds like one more reason to eat right, exercise and drink plenty of water this New Year! 

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