Wrinkly brow? Now you’ve got something else to worry about

World

Wrinkly brow? Now you’ve got something else to worry about

As if there's not enough stress in your life, new research now says a furrowed forehead could point to heart disease and early death

Laura Donnelly

Those with a face full of wrinkles have one more thing to worry about: it could be a harbinger of doom.
A study suggests that a furrowed brow is an early clue to deadly heart problems. Research presented at the world’s largest heart conference found that adults with the wrinkliest brows are 10 times more likely to die younger than those with smooth skin.
Scientists said horizontal wrinkles could be a red flag indicating hardening of the arteries – a major trigger for heart attacks. They said doctors should keep a closer eye on those who look older than their years, and ensure they have a health test.The French study tracked the health of more than 3,200 working adults after classifying them into three groups depending on the number and depth of horizontal wrinkles on their brows. A score of zero meant a smooth brow, while three indicated numerous deep wrinkles.
Twenty years later, 2.1% of those with the smoothest skin had died – rising to 15.2% of those with the most wrinkles. When adjusted to take account of other factors, such as smoking, age and general health, it amounted to a 10-fold difference in premature mortality.Yolande Esquirol, lead researcher at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, said the study was the first to establish a link between cardiovascular risk and forehead wrinkles. She told delegates at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich: “We explored forehead wrinkles as a marker because it’s so simple and visual. Just looking at a person’s face could sound an alarm.”
Researchers said deep wrinkles could indicate atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries due to a build-up of fatty plaques. Because blood vessels in the forehead are small, they could be sensitive to plaque build-up and patients with deep wrinkles should be targeted for checks on cholesterol and blood pressure, they said. 
Professor Jeremy Pearson at the British Heart Foundation said: “Perhaps wrinkles can tell us more than we think about our heart health, but counting lines won’t replace tests for well-understood risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.”
Previous research examining crow’s feet, or wrinkles around the eyes, found no link to heart risks.
– © The Daily Telegraph

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article