Yes - according to some research on twins in Denmark. Researchers have established that a fresh-faced appearance means a longer life, as opposed to those who usually look older than they really are, as the BBC can confirm. Danish researchers looked at 387 pairs of twins to come up with the conclusion mentioned above. Nurses, teachers and colleagues were asked to look at photos of the twins and estimate which one looked younger; then, they determined that the one who did not look their age actually lived a longer life than the twin who seemed older. The explanation for that was found in DNA pieces called telomeres, which were longer in younger looking people, the aforementioned media outlet says.
“In the study, the people who looked younger had longer telomeres. All of the twins were in their 70s, 80s or 90s when they were photographed. Over a seven-year follow-up the researchers, led by Professor Kaare Christensen of the University of Southern Denmark, found that the bigger the difference in perceived age within a pair, the more likely it was that the older-looking twin died first,” the BBC informs. Age, profession and gender were not factors in the findings.
“Perceived age, which is widely used by clinicians as a general indication of a patient’s health, is a robust biomarker of ageing that predicts survival among those aged over 70,” researchers tell BBC of the findings. “It’s probably a combination of genes plus environment over a lifetime that are important,” Professor Tim Spector, who is also conducting a study on twins, says for BBC.
One explanation that researchers are also considering is that people who look older than they really are lead a tougher life: not only it shows on their faces, but it also takes a toll on their body. Either way, being fresh-faced certainly “pays off.”
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