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Look in the Mirror for a Health Checkup

A quick glance at your reflection may hold your health prognosis.


Some signs of aging (baldness and plumped-up eyelids, for instance) do more than wound your vanity: They signal ischemic heart disease—a restriction in the blood supply to our tissues, which shortchanges them on the oxygen and glucose needed for healthy metabolism.

In a Danish study, patients’ risk of heart attack increased 35 percent if they had fatty eyelid deposits, 11 percent if they had earlobe creases, and 40 percent for men with crown top baldness. Patients who had three or four signs of aging (the fourth being frontal balding) had a nearly 40 percent greater risk of ischemic heart disease and a nearly 60 percent increased risk of heart attack.

“Looking old for your age [indicates] poor cardiovascular health,” said Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, M.D., in outlining her research findings.

—American Heart Association

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