Youthful looks point to longer life

People who look young for their age live longer, according to new research

A study of twins has revealed that people who look young for their age are more likely to live longer.

However, it would seem that the differences may be based mainly on a healthy lifestyle, rather than genetic factors, reports the Telegraph.

Scientists in Denmark studied 1,826 twins aged 70 or over. They found that the twin who was judged to look older was the more likely to die first. The bigger the perceived difference in age, the more likely the older-looking one would die before the more youthful twin.

The study found that the perceived age of each twin was linked to physical and mental agility, and the ability of their cells to replicate, which is a key factor in ageing.

Researchers said the findings were so pronounced that doctors could even use whether the patient looks ‘old for their age’ as an indicator of poor health.

Dr Kaare Christensen from the University of Southern Denmark said the results are ‘probably easy to explain because people who’ve had a tougher life are more likely to die early – and their life is reflected in their face’.

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