Could Your Forehead Wrinkles Be A Sign of Heart Disease?

Deep forehead wrinkles may signal heart disease risk

Deep forehead wrinkles may signal heart disease risk

Deep wrinkles on the forehead may be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new research.

Are wrinkles just an inevitable effect of ageing, or could they signal something more sinister?

For the new study, the team investigated a different visible marker of age - horizontal forehead wrinkles - to see if they had any value in assessing cardiovascular risk in a group of 3,200 working adults. Individuals were given a zero for no wrinkles, while those who had numerous deep wrinkles were assigned a score of "three".

The participants were followed for about 20 years, during which 233 of the participants died of various causes.

In particular, the authors proved that the owners of the greatest number of deep wrinkles on the forehead, which is not very typical at their age, have an increased risk of death from heart disease.

According to the study by the European Society of Cardiology, assessing brow wrinkles could be an easy, low-priced way to identify people in a high-risk category for cardiovascular disease.

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"You can't see or feel risk factors like high cholesterol or hypertension", said study author Yolande Esquirol, "We explored forehead wrinkles as a marker because it's so simple and visual".

Moreover, the researchers noted that looking at forehead wrinkles wouldn't take the place of assessing people for classic risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In prior studies, crow's feet showed no relationship with cardiovascular risk but these tiny wrinkles near the eyes are a outcome not just of age but also of facial movement.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2018 taking place August 25-29 in Munich, Germany. The challenge is in identifying high-risk patients early enough to make a difference. The researchers calculated that 15.2 percent of the deceased individuals received scores of "two" or "three" during the study, compared to just 6.6 percent of those gives a "one" and only 2.1 percent of those with a "zero".

It is thought that the link between wrinkles and cardiovascular disease could be down to changes in collagen protein and oxidative stress - an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body - which play a part in both the creation of wrinkles and the build-up of plaque in blood vessels.

Research suggests that the tiny blood vessels on the forehead may be more sensitive to the formation of plaques, and that means wrinkles, should be considered a symptom of vascular aging. They say that doctors should use wrinkles as a "red flag" for heart disease and offer extra checks to those who look raddled.

Those who had wrinkle scores of two and three had nearly 10 times the risk of dying compared with people who had wrinkle scores of zero, after adjustments for age, gender, education, smoking status, blood pressure, heart rate, diabetes and lipid levels.

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