Look younger, live longer – study of Danish twins shows

Researchers claim clinical judgments on appearance have basis in fact

Are your friends and family already jealous because you look younger than your years? Well, prepare to make them even greener with envy. People whose faces belie their real age also live longer, enjoy better health and are less likely to get dementia, according to a study published today in the British Medical Journal.

The research was conducted among 1,826 twins in Denmark aged 70 or older.

“Our study shows that in a group of people aged over 70, perceived age is a strong indicator of mortality after adjustment for chronological age. We anticipate that the effect might be even more pronounced in middle age,” conclude the authors, led by Professor Kaare Christensen, an expert on ageing at the University of Southern Denmark.

The researchers reached their conclusions after getting independent assessors to estimate the age of the subjects by looking at photographs of their faces in 2001, then seeing which of the twins had died by the time a follow-up was done in 2008.

Factors such as smoking, exposure to sunshine, depression and low socio-economic status are known to contribute to ageing, while being married, high social status, lack of depression and a low body mass index (BMI) all help preserve a more youthful appearance.

Genetic factors explain the difference in survival and perceived age, and influence skin appearance and the risk of heart attack, say the authors. They pinpointed the length of someone’s leucocyte telomeres, molecular biomarkers of ageing which reveal how capable cells are of replicating, as being key to the process.

Shorter length is associated with a range of diseases linked to ageing. Subjects in the study with longer ones were likely to enjoy fewer health problems, longer life and retain full cognitive function for longer, the study found

It was undertaken to see if doctors are right to draw negative conclusions about a patient’s health prospects because they look older than they are. The belief is well-founded, it seems.

“When assessing health, physicians traditionally compare perceived and chronological age, and for adult patients the expression ‘looking old for your age’ is an indicator of poor health. Our study indicates that this practice, which has existed for decades if not centuries, is actually a useful clinical approach”, say Christensen and the others.

Anti-aging skin care sales in the United States from 2011 to 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars)

The statistic shows the anti-aging skin care sales in the United States from 2011 to 2014 and provides a forecast for 2015. In 2013, the U.S. anti-aging skin care market generated about 2.1 billion U.S. dollars in retail sales.

Anti-Aging Skin Care

Along with feeling great comes looking great. The global anti-aging market is being driven primarily by the rise in the aging global population, especially the nations that hold the majority of the baby boomer population. The population is comprised of individuals that have, for long periods, been concerned with physical health and beauty. Individuals born between 1946 and 1964 are the biggest consumers of anti-aging services and products. More than 8,000 individuals are added per day to the count of people above 65 and this trend is expected to continue for the next 18 years.

By 2021, the global skin care market is expected to be valued at about 154 billion U.S. dollars. In 2014, facial anti-aging skin care products were the second highest grossing skin care category in the United States with sales of approximately 1.15 billion U.S. dollars. The United States is also the biggest market when it comes to skin care sales. The country generated sales of about 2.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2014.

The anti-aging market ranges from cosmetic products (anti-wrinkle products, anti-stretch mark products, hair color), services (anti-pigmentation, acne therapy, liposusction, eye-lid surgery, sclerotherapy) to devices (UV absorbers, laser aesthetics, microderm abrasion devices, anti-cellulite treatment devices etc). The market is extremely competitive and growth is influenced by lifestyle, healthy living as well as ethnic and environmental consciousness.


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