Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Study: Looking young may mean living longer

SHOOT: Let's face, as long as you look younger a number of opportunities remain open to you. What's more tired than being considered 'too old' or 'over the hill'?
clipped from news.yahoo.com

LONDON – Those baby-faced people now have another reason to be smug: a new Danish study says looking young apparently means a longer life.

The experts found that people who looked younger than their actual age were far more likely to survive, even after they adjusted for other factors like gender and environment. The bigger the difference in perceived age within any twin pair, the more likely it was that the older-looking twin died first.

They also found a possible biological explanation: people who looked younger also tended to have longer telomeres, a key DNA component that is linked to aging. People with shorter telomeres are thought to age faster. In the Danish study, the more fresh-faced people had longer telomeres.

The authors said that perceived age, which is widely used by doctors as a general indicator of a patient's health, is a good biomarker of aging that predicts survival among people over age 70.

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