The Age You Look May Reflect Heart Disease Risk

November 8, 2012

Everyone gets grey hair and wrinkles, but balding, a receding hairline, fatty deposits around the eyes, and/or wrinkles near the ear lobes may indicate an increased risk for heart disease and heart attacks.

According to a study, there was a strong correlation between these signs and heart disease, and the more signs you have, the more likely it is to predict a heart attack in your future.

Fatty build up around the eyelids was the strongest risk factor, possibly indicating increased cholesterol levels, while balding has been previously linked to to increased risk for heart disease (possibly related to elevated testosterone levels).

What to do if you look older than you are?

Talk to your doctor—have tests done to determine your cholesterol, blood pressure, and other possible signs of heart disease, and factor in your personal and family history.

Then make some lifestyle changes. Antioxidants, found in large quantities in berries and other fruits, help fight inflammation that can cause premature aging. Exercise (with your doctors advice) to support heart health. Increase your omega-3s, found in fish, flax seed, and nuts (as well as supplements). Reduce stress levels, either by changing your lifestyle, taking calming breaks, or talking with a therapist. Stress hormones can quickly age your heart.

If you can’t judge whether you look old for your age (and don’t want an honest answer from your friends) bring it up with your doctor, or just ask for a heart health check up.

Oh, and look younger than your age? Congratulations! But it’s no excuse not to take care of your heart!

What are other good ways to support heart health?

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