These Four Facial Characteristics Predict Heart Attack Risk [Study]

If you look old, you might be at greater risk for a heart attack regardless of traditional risk factors.

That’s what new study from Denmark concluded in determining that four specific signs of aging on the face can be precursors to heart disease.

The study had nearly 11,000 participants (about half of whom were women) who were over 40 and were apparently followed for 35 years. Here’s what the researchers found out from this data according to the NewsRX website:

“… those who had three to four aging signs — receding hairline at the temples, baldness at the head’s crown, earlobe crease, or yellow fatty deposits around the eyelid (xanthelasmata) — had a 57 percent increased risk for heart attack and a 39 percent increased risk for heart disease.”

The lead author of the paper, Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen of the University of Copenhagen, suggested that these aging characteristics could perhaps be more significant than a person’s chronological age. “Checking these visible aging signs should be a routine part of every doctor’s physical examination,” she said. Of those in the study, about 3,400 eventually developed heart disease and about 1,700 suffered a heart attack.

The fatty deposits around the eyes seemed to the the most significant predictor of heart issues, but each additional sign of aging increased the risk of coronary problems according to the study.

Traditional risks factors for a heart condition include high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, lack of exercise, and of course obesity.

The paper on facial aging and heart disease was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.

[Image credit: Smobserver]