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Are many wrinkles on the forehead a cause for concern?
As people age, more and more wrinkles develop on the skin over time. Researchers have now found that deep forehead wrinkles can also be an early sign of cardiovascular disease.
In their current study, the scientists at the Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse in France found that deep forehead wrinkles can indicate the development of cardiovascular diseases. The doctors presented the results of their current study at the congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in Munich.
Excessive wrinkles could be associated with atherosclerosis
If people have more wrinkles on their foreheads than is common for people their age, this may indicate an increased risk of dying from the effects of cardiovascular disease, the experts say. Excessive wrinkles could be associated with arteriosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup, the researchers add. Atherosclerosis is a major cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
Do the blood vessels on the forehead react to plaque deposits?
Changes in the collagen protein that gives structure to our hair, skin and nails, and oxidative stress seem to play a role in both atherosclerosis and wrinkles. The study suggested that the tiny blood vessels in the forehead may be more sensitive to plaque buildup, which means that wrinkles can be a sign of aging of the vessels. The researchers analyzed a group of 3,200 adults for their study. All participants were healthy and 32, 42, 52 or 62 years old.
The depth and number of wrinkles was rated on a scale
The subjects were assigned scores based on the number and depth of wrinkles on their foreheads. A value of zero means no wrinkles, a value of three means numerous deep wrinkles. The participants were monitored medically over a period of 20 years. During this time, 233 subjects died of various causes. At the end of the study, 15.2 percent had a wrinkle score of two or three, 6.6 percent had a wrinkle score, and 2.1 percent had a wrinkle score of zero, the study authors said. The researchers found that people with a wrinkle value of one were slightly more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than people without wrinkles.
In some people, the risk was almost ten times as high
People with a wrinkle value of two and three were almost ten times as likely to die prematurely compared to people with no wrinkles at all. This increased risk continued after adjustment to factors such as age, gender, education, smoking status, blood pressure, heart rate, diabetes and lipid levels.
Forehead wrinkles are an easy to identify visual marker
The higher the wrinkle value, the higher the risk of cardiovascular mortality, explains study author Professor Yolande Esquirol from the Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse. The forehead wrinkles were examined as markers because they are easy to determine visually. Just looking at a person's face can indicate increased risk, then experts can respond and provide advice to reduce the risk, the author adds. Advice can include direct lifestyle changes, such as doing more exercise or eating healthier.
A healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of heart disease
The risk of heart disease increases with age, but a healthy lifestyle and medical interventions can reduce the risk. The challenge is to identify high-risk patients early enough to make a difference, the doctors explain.
More studies are needed
If you're a person at potential cardiovascular risk, you'll need to have classic risk factors checked, such as blood pressure, lipid and blood sugar levels, adds Esquirol. It is the first time that cardiovascular risk has been linked to forehead wrinkles. The results must now be checked in further studies. (as)