Deep forehead wrinkles may be an early warning sign of heart disease and atherosclerosis, researchers say.
The new research was presented at the 2018 annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology, held in Munich, Germany.
The impetus for studying facial features as a sign of serious disease was motivated by previous studies that showed male pattern baldness and prematurely gray can signal a serious heart disease risk.
Forehead Wrinkles: Study Results
Researchers examined forehead wrinkles in 3,200 healthy adults, aged 32–62, over the course of twenty years. The participants’ wrinkles by scored on a range of 0 (no wrinkles) to 3 (many deep wrinkles).
The results demonstrated a direct link between wrinkle score and risk of dying from a heart problem.
Wrinkle scores of 1 were negligible, but a score of 2, 3 increased heart fatalities by a factor of 10.
Forehead Wrinkles: The Connection To Heart Attacks
The researchers believe that the connection between deep forehead wrinkles and heart attacks may be atherosclerosis.
Oxidative stress and changes in collagen protein levels can increase deep these wrinkles and atherosclerosis.
Also, blood vessels in the forehead are highly sensitive to plaque buildup which is an atherosclerosis marker.
Finally, the results suggest that deep forehead wrinkles can be an easier way of determining heart disease than lipid tests and blood pressure measurements.
This method could be used now in physicians’ offices and clinics, as a way to detect signs of cardiovascular conditions. It is inexpensive, and there is no risk.