By Dennis Thompson
Every face tells a story, and that story apparently includes hints of how quickly a person is aging, a new study contends.
Facial features have proven even more reliable than blood tests in spotting those for whom time is taking a heavier toll, a Chinese research team reports in the March 31 issue of the journal Cell Research.
A computerized 3-D facial imaging process uncovered a number of “tells” that show if a person is aging more rapidly, including a widening mouth, bulging nose, sagging upper lip, shrinking gums and drooping eye corners, the researchers said.
“This suggests not only that youth is ‘skin deep,’ but also that health is ‘written’ on the face,” the study authors concluded, suggesting that facial scanning could more accurately assess a person’s general health than a routine physical exam.
This sort of facial imaging is part of a cutting-edge technology aimed at estimating life expectancy and assessing health risk factors simply by taking a scan of your face, said Jay Olshansky, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health and a board member of the American Federation for Aging Research.
“A lot of your risk factor for disease shows up in your face,” Olshansky said. “You can identify the precise places on the face where these risk factors show up.”
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