“People blessed with youthful faces are more likely to live to a ripe old age than those who look more than their years, work shows.”
People blessed with youthful faces are more likely to live to a ripe old age than those who look more than their years, work shows.
Danish scientists say appearance alone can predict survival, after they studied 387 pairs of twins.
Over a seven-year follow-up the researchers, led by Professor Kaare Christensen of the University of Southern Denmark, found that the bigger the difference in perceived age within a pair, the more likely it was that the older-looking twin died first.
The age, sex and professional background of the assessors made no difference to any of the results.
Professor Christensen said it might be that people who have had a tougher life are more likely to die early – and their life is reflected in their face.
The researchers told the BMJ: “Perceived age, which is widely used by clinicians as a general indication of a patient’s health, is a robust biomarker of ageing that predicts survival among those aged over 70.”
Professor Tim Spector, a UK expert who has been doing his own twin research, said: “We are also finding this in our study.
“It’s probably a combination of genes plus environment over a lifetime that are important.”