(HorizonPost.com) – People who look old for their age are more likely to get sick, according to The Daily Mail. Researchers are reportedly warning that looking older than one’s age could raise the risk of age-related illnesses, such as osteoporosis, hearing loss, and cataracts.
Academics in the Netherlands reportedly sampled 2,700 people aged 50 to 90 to guess their ages based only on pictures of their faces. They then questioned them on medical ailments to try to elicit any trends.
Results of the study revealed that participants who were guessed to be five years younger than they were had better thinking skills, and they were also less likely to suffer from cataracts, which are clouds that form in the eye to negatively affect vision, according to Mayo Clinic.
Professor Tamar Nijsten, a dermatologist at Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, said that one’s perceived age is likely to reflect the health of one’s organ systems, body, and mind.
“This is not a definitive study, but it is probably the best study so far providing evidence that perceived age also reflects internal aging,” he said, noting that there could be contributing factors such as biology, UV exposure, and smoking.
The 2,679 participants, aged 66 on average, were judged solely on their looks by an independent panel of 27 researchers. Each volunteer was given an age score calculated by their real age minus their perceived age. For example, one thought to look five years younger than their actual age was given a score of five, where the higher the score the younger the person looks.
The participants’ lifestyles were reviewed after their age was calculated. Researchers took into account weight, smoking habits, and health status. The findings were published in the British Journal of Dermatology and showed that those who looked younger performed better on cognitive tests. They were also 15% less likely to suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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