Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

To investigate whether and to what extent mortality is predictable from facial photographs of older people. High-quality facial photographs of 292 members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921, taken at the age of about 83 years, were rated in terms of apparent age, health, attractiveness, facial symmetry, intelligence, and well-being by 12 young-adult raters. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to study associations between these ratings and mortality during a 7-year follow-up period. All ratings had adequate reliability. Concurrent validity was found for facial symmetry and intelligence (as determined by correlations with actual measures of fluctuating asymmetry in the faces and Raven Standard Progressive Matrices score, respectively), but not for the other traits. Age as rated from facial photographs, adjusted for sex and chronological age, was a significant predictor of mortality (hazard ratio = 1.36, 95% confidence interval = 1.12-1.65) and remained significant even after controlling for concurrent, objectively measured health and cognitive ability, and the other ratings. Health as rated from facial photographs, adjusted for sex and chronological age, significantly predicted mortality (hazard ratio = 0.81, 95% confidence interval = 0.67-0.99) but not after adjusting for rated age or objectively measured health and cognition. Rated attractiveness, symmetry, intelligence, and well-being were not significantly associated with mortality risk. Rated age of the face is a significant predictor of mortality risk among older people, with predictive value over and above that of objective or rated health status and cognitive ability.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... DNA methylation profiles were analysed in whole blood collected at age 79.1 years using Illumina HumanMethylation450BeadChips as previously described [2]. Perceived facial age (face-age) was assessed from neutral expression facial photographs taken at age 83.3 years (blood samples were not collected at this time point) [3]. Briefly, 12 university students (6 male, 6 female) estimated the participants ages based on high resolution photographs, taken under the same lighting conditions, at the same distance, using the same camera. ...
... The relationship between older face-age and increased mortality risk was also evident in a previous data release of LBC1921 [3], and again here using updated survival information (HR 1.39 [1.19, 1.63] per SD increase in face-age; Figure 1A). People with older face-age also show signs of accelerated biological aging as measured from physiology-based indices (Pearson r~0.2) [6]. ...
... Face-age was clearly associated with all-cause mortality in the 235 LBC1921 individuals, as previously reported for an older iteration of the data [3]. However, our results did not support the hypothesis that an epigenetic measure of biological age could be derived from analysis of facial aging. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evaluation of biological age, as opposed to chronological age, is of high relevance for interventions to increase healthy aging. Highly reproducible age-associated DNA methylation (DNAm) changes can be integrated into algorithms for epigenetic age predictions. These predictors have mostly been trained to correlate with chronological age, but they are also indicative for biological aging. For example accelerated epigenetic age of blood is associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality in later life. The perceived age of facial images (face-age) is also associated with all-cause mortality and other aging-associated traits. In this study, we therefore tested the hypothesis that an epigenetic predictor for biological age might be trained on face-age as surrogate for biological age, rather than on chronological age. Our data demonstrate that facial aging and DNAm changes in blood provide two independent measures for biological aging.
... DNA methylation profiles were analysed in whole blood collected at mean age 79.1 (SD 0.55) years using Illumina Human-Methylation450BeadChips as previously described [2]. Perceived facial age (face-age) was assessed from neutral expression facial photographs taken at mean age 83.3 years (SD 0.52; blood samples were not collected at this time point) [3]. Briefly, 12 university students (6 male, 6 female) estimated the participants ages based on high-resolution photographs, taken under the same lighting conditions, at the same distance, using the same camera. ...
... Perceived face-age has been linked to mortality risk [5] and other ageing-associated traits [6]. The relationship between older face-age and increased mortality risk was also evident in a previous data release of LBC1921 [3], and again here using updated survival information (HR 1.39 [1.19, 1.63] per SD increase in face-age, p = 3.5 × 10 − 5 ; Fig. 1a). People with older face-age also show signs of accelerated biological ageing as measured from physiology-based indices (Pearson r~0.2) [7]. ...
... This is the first study on epigenome-wide association of DNAm with perceived facial age. Face-age was clearly associated with all-cause mortality in the 235 LBC1921 individuals, as previously reported [3]. However, our results did not support the hypothesis that an epigenetic measure of biological age could be derived from an analysis of facial ageing. ...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluation of biological age, as opposed to chronological age, is of high relevance for interventions to increase healthy ageing. Highly reproducible age-associated DNA methylation (DNAm) changes can be integrated into algorithms for epigenetic age predictions. These predictors have mostly been trained to correlate with chronological age, but they are also indicative for biological ageing. For example, accelerated epigenetic age of blood is associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality in later life. The perceived age of facial images (face-age) is also associated with all-cause mortality and other ageing-associated traits. In this study, we therefore tested the hypothesis that an epigenetic predictor for biological age might be trained on face-age as a surrogate for biological age rather than on chronological age. Our data demonstrate that facial ageing does not correlate with either the epigenetic clock or blood-based DNAm measures. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13148-018-0572-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... Perceived age seems to be predictive of longevity beyond subjective and objective health status, and cognitive ability (Dykiert et al., 2012;Gunn, Larsen, Lall, Rexbye, & Christensen, 2016). ...
... Previous research mostly disregarded the influence of psychosocial factors on perceived facial aging, while instead focusing on extrinsic factors such as sun exposure or smoking. Only three studies hitherto were devoted to psychosocial factors, by showing that a low depression score, a high social status, being married (Rexbye et al., 2006), satisfaction with life (Dykiert et al., 2012), and low financial stress (Agrigoroaei et al., 2016) are associated with a younger facial appearance. Our study extends previous research by introducing important psychosocial resources for mental health into this research field. ...
... Indeed, among older adults the mere appearance of age predicts how long a person will live. People who look old for their age die sooner (Christensen et al., 2004;Dykiert et al., 2012). How old we look is a matter of grave importance. ...
... The discovery that sclera color is a cue for perceiving age from the face adds to our knowledge about how perceived age is computed by the visual system. Perceived age is a robust biomarker of aging ) that is predictive of mortality (Dykiert et al., 2012). Among biomarkers of aging, perceived age may be particularly useful because it is measured noninvasively. ...
Article
Full-text available
Redness or yellowness of the sclera (the light part of the eye) are known signs of illness, as is looking older than one's actual age. Here we report that the color of the sclera is related to age in a large sample of adult Caucasian females. Specifically, older faces have sclera that are more dark, red, and yellow than younger faces. A subset of these faces were manipulated to increase or decrease the darkness, redness, or yellowness of the sclera. Faces with decreased sclera darkness, redness, or yellowness were perceived to be younger than faces with increased sclera darkness, redness, or yellowness. Further, these manipulations also caused the faces to be perceived as more or less healthy, and more or less attractive. These findings show that sclera coloration is a cue for the perception of age, health, and attractiveness that is rooted in the physical changes that occur with age. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
... Observations of their actual mortality showed that the twin perceived to be older was more likely to die sooner than the younger-looking sibling (Christensen et al., 2004). Other studies also found perceived age from photographs to be a significant predictor of mortality with predictive values significantly better than that of objective rated health status (Dykiert et al., 2012). ...
... Shelly Rathee https:// orcid. org/ 0000-0002-4403-7775 Notes 1. Age assessment with photographs is reproducible if at least 50 respondents evaluate the same photograph (Dykiert et al., 2012). For 268 picture pairs, which needed to be assessed with each respondent evaluating 10 photograph pairs, we aimed for each pair to be assessed by at least 75 respondents from a sample size of around 2000-2100 respondents. ...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental characteristics can influence aging. Democracy results in higher life expectancy for its members. However, there is a lack of research that indicates the influence of democracy on its leaders. Specifically, we examine how the nature of democracy affects the perceived aging of its leaders. In this paper, we capture perceived aging via face perception. We suggest that leaders in a democracy are perceived to age more compared to those in an autocracy. Counter to the common belief that democracies are less stressful, we find that the stress of being a leader in a democracy can have adverse effects. Study 1 uses picture pairs of 268 leaders from across the world, and participants judge age difference in years between the pictures. Study 2, a controlled study, examines downstream influences on the leader's specific attributes. Results indicate that leaders appearing to age more are more likely to avoid complex decisions, to be less charismatic, and to be less inspiring.
... Observations of their actual mortality showed that the twin perceived to be older was more likely to die sooner than the younger-looking sibling (Christensen et al., 2004). Other studies also found perceived age from photographs to be a significant predictor of mortality with predictive values significantly better than that of objective rated health status (Dykiert et al., 2012). ...
... Shelly Rathee https:// orcid. org/ 0000-0002-4403-7775 Notes 1. Age assessment with photographs is reproducible if at least 50 respondents evaluate the same photograph (Dykiert et al., 2012). For 268 picture pairs, which needed to be assessed with each respondent evaluating 10 photograph pairs, we aimed for each pair to be assessed by at least 75 respondents from a sample size of around 2000-2100 respondents. ...
Article
Environmental characteristics can influence aging. Democracy results in higher life expectancy for its members. However, there is a lack of research that indicates the influence of democracy on its leaders. Specifically, we examine how the nature of democracy affects the perceived aging of its leaders. In this paper, we capture perceived aging via face perception. We suggest that leaders in a democracy are perceived to age more compared to those in an autocracy. Counter to the common belief that democracies are less stressful, we find that the stress of being a leader in a democracy can have adverse effects. Study 1 uses picture pairs of 268 leaders from across the world, and participants judge age difference in years between the pictures. Study 2, a controlled study, examines downstream influences on the leader’s specific attributes. Results indicate that leaders appearing to age more are more likely to avoid complex decisions, to be less charismatic, and to be less inspiring.
... One of the many biomarkers of aging is perceived age, that is, how old one looks, which is associated with survival, and physical and cognitive functioning (21,22). For people aged 70 years and older, even after correcting for sex and chronological age as well as other partly correlated biomarkers-for example, cognitive scores, strength scores, grip strength, and the Mini-Mental State Examination-annual mortality risk increased by 3% with each year deviation in perceived age from chronological age (21). ...
... Perceived age holds great potential as a biomarker for biological age because biomarkers of aging should inform about biological age differences beyond chronological age, and because perceived age is moderately correlated to chronological age, it shows the potential to provide exactly such additional information (33). This potential of perceived age as biomarker is confirmed by previous findings that show that perceived age corresponds to health measures, cognitive function, and various hazard risks and might be a better predictor of mortality hazard compared to chronological age (21)(22)(23)(24). Our study focuses on perceived age and does not include health measures or mortality hazard risk (beyond relating to the overall change in life expectancy). ...
Article
BACKGROUND Human life expectancy continues to rise in most populations. This rise not only leads to longer lives but is accompanied by improved health at a given age, i.e. recent cohorts show a reduction of biological age for a given chronological age. Despite or even because of the diversity of biomarkers of ageing, an accurate quantification of a general shift in biological age across time has been challenging. METHODS Here, we compared age perception of facial images taken in 2001 over a decade and related these changes in age perception to changes in life expectancy. RESULTS We show that age perception changes substantially across time and parallels the progress in life expectancy. In 2012, people aged 70+ needed to look 2.3 years younger to be rated the same age as in 2002. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that age perception reflects the past life events better than predicts future length of life, i.e. it is written in your face how much you have aged so far. We draw this conclusion since age perception among elderly paralleled changes in life expectancy at birth but not changes in remaining life expectancies. We suggest that changes in age perception should be explored for younger age classes to inform on ageing processes, including whether ageing is delayed or slowed with increasing life expectancy.
... These perceived ages are only modestly correlated with actual age, but provide as strong predictions of seven-year mortality as actual age. These findings, replicated by Dykiert et al., 24 suggest that our study's interviewers may draw not only upon information explicitly collected but also on observations throughout a lengthy interview (76 minutes on average) of facial and bodily features, responsiveness, mobility, and disposition. Moreover, given that interviewerrated health is a stronger predictor than self-rated health in the presence of most of the control variables, it seems plausible that interviewer-rated health would be as strongly associated with five-year mortality as self-rated health in a more modest interview than the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study -e.g., a survey that excludes functioning tests and has fewer health questions. ...
Article
Despite the serious biases that characterize self-rated health, researchers rely heavily on these ratings to predict mortality. Using newly collected survey data, we examine whether simple ratings of participants' health provided by interviewers and physicians can markedly improve mortality prediction. We use data from a prospective cohort study based on a nationally representative sample of older adults in Taiwan. We estimate proportional-hazard models of all-cause mortality between the 2006 interview and 30 June 2011 (mean 4.7 years' follow-up). Interviewer ratings were more strongly associated with mortality than physician or self-ratings, even after controlling for a wide range of covariates. Neither respondent nor physician ratings substantially improve mortality prediction in models that include interviewer ratings. The predictive power of interviewer ratings likely arises in part from interviewers' incorporation of information about the respondents' physical and mental health into their assessments. The findings of this study support the routine inclusion of a simple question at the end of face-to-face interviews, comparable to self-rated health, asking interviewers to provide an assessment of respondents' overall health. The costs of such an undertaking are minimal and the potential gains substantial for demographic and health researchers. Future work should explore the strength of the link between interviewer ratings and mortality in other countries and in surveys that collect less detailed information on respondent health, functioning, and well-being.
... A few studies have investigated the association between perceived age and health. These studies have associated looking old for your age to poor survival (Christensen et al., 2004Dykiert et al., 2012), carotid atherosclerosis (Kido et al., 2012), and general measures of poor health as determined by the SF-12 physical and mental health scores (Hwang et al., 2011), which justifies the common practice of including perceived age as an indication of a patient's health in the medical records. ...
Article
Association of common aging signs (i.e., male pattern baldness, hair graying, and facial wrinkles) as well as other age-related appearance factors (i.e., arcus corneae, xanthelasmata, and earlobe crease) with increased risk of ischemic heart disease was initially described in anecdotal reports from clinicians observing trends in the physical appearance of patients with ischemic heart disease. Following these early observations numerous epidemiological studies have reported these associations. Since the prevalences of both visible aging signs and ischemic heart disease have a strong correlation with increasing age, it has been extensively debated whether the observed associations could be entirely explained by a common association with age. Furthermore, the etiologies of the visible aging signs are rarely fully understood, and pathophysiological explanations for these associations remain controversial, and are mostly speculative. As a consequence of inconsistent findings and lack of mechanistic explanations for the observed associations with ischemic heart disease, consensus on the clinical importance of these visible aging signs has been lacking. The aim of this review is for each of the visible aging signs to (i) review the etiology, (ii) to discuss the current epidemiological evidence for an association with risk of ischemic heart disease, and (iii) to present possible pathophysiological explanations for these associations. Finally this review discusses the potential clinical implications of these findings.
... Perceived beauty affects more than just mating opportunities; it also affects how adults treat children, how employers choose job applicants, and how criminals are sentenced (Langlois et al., 2000). How old we look is not only related to a variety of ailments and health-related factors (Bulpitt, Markowe, & Shipley, 2001;Hwang, Atia, Nisenbaum, Pare, & Joordens, 2011), it is a better predictor of mortality than is our actual age (Christensen et al., 2004;Dykiert et al., 2012). Perceived health contributes to the appearance of attractiveness (Rhodes et al., 2007), and people perceived as healthy are more likely to be selected for leadership roles in a variety of contexts (Spisak, Blaker, Lefevre, Moore, & Krebbers, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
How healthy someone appears has important social consequences. Yet the visual cues that determine perceived health remain poorly understood. Here we report evidence that facial contrast-the luminance and color contrast between internal facial features and the surrounding skin- is a cue for the perception of health from the face. Facial contrast was measured from a large sample of Caucasian female faces, and was found to predict ratings of perceived health. Most aspects of facial contrast were positively related to perceived health, meaning that faces with higher facial contrast appeared healthier. In 2 subsequent experiments, we manipulated facial contrast and found that participants perceived faces with increased facial contrast as appearing healthier than faces with decreased facial contrast. These results support the idea that facial contrast is a cue for perceived health. This finding adds to the growing knowledge about perceived health from the face, and helps to ground our understanding of perceived health in terms of lower-level perceptual features such as contrast. (PsycINFO Database Record
... Perceived age seems to be predictive of longevity beyond subjective and objective health status, and cognitive ability (Dykiert et al., 2012;Gunn, Larsen, Lall, Rexbye, & Christensen, 2016). Furthermore, perceived age has been shown to be a valid biomarker of healthy aging and a strong survival predictor of twins aged more than 70 years (Christensen et al., 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Looking younger than actual age has been related to a variety of health outcomes. Optimism, self-esteem, and relationship satisfaction are important psychosocial resources for mental health. Little is known about their relation with a younger facial appearance. Objective: This study analyzed whether these psychosocial resources are associated with a younger facial appearance and if their effects were mediated through mental health. Method: A sample of N = 223 self-reporting healthy men aged 40 to 75 years filled in questionnaires to assess optimism (Life Orientation Test–Revised), self-esteem (Multidimensional Self-Esteem Scale), relationship satisfaction (Relationship Assessment Scale), and mental health (Short-Form Health Survey). Five female raters estimated the visual age of each participant from a frontal face photograph. Results: Looking younger (compared with chronological age) was correlated with optimism, relationship satisfaction, and mental health. Mediation analyses and structural equation modeling indicated that mental health mediated the association between each psychosocial resource and a younger appearance. Discussion: The results emphasize the importance of promoting psychosocial resources and mental health in men 40+ for the maintenance of good health and the deceleration of facial aging.
... Fitzgerald et al. (2021) whole-genome DNA methylation (Horvath and Raj, 2018) and transcriptomic changes as well as other omics-based analyses (Osborne et al., 2020). Further, simple facial photographs appear to accurately predict not only age but also morbidity (Dykiert et al., 2012). In addition, machine learning analyses of a panel of standard blood biochemistry markers also appear to be able to predict age and morbidity (Mamoshina et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
The risk of morbidity and mortality increases exponentially with age. Chronic inflammation, accumulation of DNA damage, dysfunctional mitochondria, and increased senescent cell load are factors contributing to this. Mechanistic investigations have revealed specific pathways and processes which, proposedly, cause age-related phenotypes such as frailty, reduced physical resilience, and multi-morbidity. Among promising treatments alleviating the consequences of aging are caloric restriction and pharmacologically targeting longevity pathways such as the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), sirtuins, and anti-apoptotic pathways in senescent cells. Regulation of these pathways and processes has revealed significant health- and lifespan extending results in animal models. Nevertheless, it remains unclear if similar results translate to humans. A requirement of translation are the development of age- and morbidity associated biomarkers as longitudinal trials are difficult and not feasible, practical, nor ethical when human life span is the endpoint. Current biomarkers and the results of anti-aging intervention studies in humans will be covered within this paper. The future of clinical trials targeting aging may be phase 2 and 3 studies with larger populations if safety and tolerability of investigated medication continues not to be a hurdle for further investigations.
... To overcome the challenges in facial aging measurement and to make the best use of questionnairebased instruments, a subjective assessment of facial aging could be valuable in this regard measurement [25][26][27]. In this study, we examined the role of TL by taking advantage of questionnaire-based measurement for facial aging in the UK Biobank. ...
Article
Full-text available
Are shorter telomeres causal risk factors for facial aging on a large population level? To examine if longer, genetically predicted telomeres were causally associated with less facial aging using Mendelian randomization analysis. Two-sample Mendelian randomization methods were applied to the summary statistics of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for self-reported facial aging from 417, 772 participants of the UK Biobank data. Twenty single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were of genome-wide significance were selected as instrumental variables for leukocyte telomere length. The main analyses were performed primarily using the random-effects inverse-variance weighted method and were complemented with the MR-Egger regression, weighted median, and weighted mode approaches. The intercept of MR-Egger regression was used to assess horizontal pleiotropy. Longer genetically predicted telomeres were associated with a lower likelihood of facial aging (β = - 0.02, 95% confidence interval: - 0.04, - 0.002). Comparable results were obtained using MR-Egger regression, weighted median, and weighted mode approaches. The intercept of MR-Egger regression was close to zero (0.002) that was not suggestive of horizontal pleiotropy. Our findings provided evidence to support a potential causal relationship between longer genetically predicted telomeres and less facial aging.
... It is mainly due to the large individual variations between different people even within the same chronologic age group. To account for at least some individual differences parameters like social age, psychological age and biologic age were introduced (Furukawa et al. 1975;Sanders and Newman 2013;Kim and Jazwinski 2015;Bulpitt et al. 1994;Kwon and da Vitoria Lobo 1999;Guinot et al. 2002;Gunn et al. 2008;Matts 2008;Nielsen et al. 2008;Dykiert et al. 2012;Porcheron et al. 2013;Coma et al. 2014;Krištić et al. 2014;Shetage et al. 2014;Trojahn et al. 2015aTrojahn et al. , 2015bTrojahn et al. , 2015cJia et al. 2017;Kang et al. 2017;Wang and Dreesen 2018). Among these, the biologic age concept and the frailty index in a cumulative way reflecting overall health status are supposed to be the most adequate indices representing age-related changes in the human body and skin. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background The present research addresses the issue of skin aging and corresponding skin treatment individualization. Particular research question was on the development of a simplified criterion supporting patient-specific decisions about the necessity and intensity of skin treatment. Basing on published results and a wide pool of our own experimental data, a hypothesis is formulated that a difference between biologic and chronologic age can be used as a powerful indicator of skin aging. Methods In the present paper, we report the results of studies with 80 volunteers between 15 and 65 years of age linking skin cell profile parameters to biologic and chronologic age. Biologic age was calculated using the empirical expressions based on the forced vital lung capacity, systolic blood pressure, urea concentration, and blood cholesterol level. Epidermis and derma cellular structures were studied using skin biopsy samples taken from the gluteal region. Results The present study supports the conclusion that biologic and chronologic age difference is changing in the progress of life. Our studies are showing that time point when calculated biologic age becomes equal to the chronologic one reflecting the onset of specific changes in the age dependencies of experimentally measured skin cell profile parameters. Thus, it is feasible that a difference between chronologic and individually assessed biologic age indeed reflects the process of skin aging. Conclusions With all reservations to the relatively small number of study participants, it seems feasible that a difference between biologic and chronologic age can be used as an indicator of skin aging. Additional research linking blood immune profile and skin topography to the difference of biologic and chronologic age (reported in the following paper) provides further support for the formulated hypotheses. So, a difference between calculated biologic age and chronologic age can be used as an individualized criterion supporting decisions on skin treatment strategies. Further research involving larger numbers of participants aimed at optimizing the expressions for calculating biologic age could lead to reliable and easily available express criterion supporting the decision for the individualized skin treatment.
... Structural and facial surface features also vary with age through either weight redistribution or growth resulting in stereotyped changes in skull and forehead shape, broadening of the chin, lengthening of the ears and nose, changes in the size of the eyes and surrounding eye region, and retraction of the lips (Albert et al 2007;Bruce and Young 1998;Burt and Perrett 1995;Ebner 2008). Research has also demonstrated that, apart from age, attractiveness tends to correlate most with face averageness and symmetry (Dykiert et al 2012;Valentine et al 2004;Zaidel and Cohen 2005), both of which can be affected by the above structural facial alterations associated with age. ...
Article
Full-text available
How "old" and "attractive" an individual appears has increasingly become an individual concern leading to the utilisation of various cosmetic surgical procedures aimed at enhancing appearance. Using eyetracking, in the present study we aimed to investigate how individuals perceive age and attractiveness of younger and older faces and what "bottom-up" facial cues are used in this process. One hundred and twenty eight digital images of neutral faces of ages ranging from 20 to 89 years were paired and presented to subjects who judged age and attractiveness levels while having their eye movements recorded. There was an effect of face attractiveness on age-rating accuracy, with attractive faces being rated younger than their true age. Similarly, stimulus age affected attractiveness ratings, with younger faces being perceived as more attractive. Judgments of age and attractiveness were tightly linked to fixations on the eye region, along with the nose and mouth. It is thus likely that cosmetic surgical procedures targeted at the eyes, nose, and mouth may be most efficacious at enhancing one's physical appearance.
Article
Full-text available
Glycemia is linked with one of the key mechanisms underlying the aging process and inter-individual differences in biological age. Previous research showed that glucose level is linked with perceived age in elder individuals. This study aimed to verify if glycemia is related to perceived facial age in healthy adult individuals as interventions in younger and healthy cohorts are crucial for preventing the onset of age-related diseases. The study sample consisted of 116 healthy men of mean age 35.53 ± 3.54 years (29.95–44.29) and 163 healthy women of mean age 28.38 ± 2.40 (24.25–34.17) years. Glycemia was evaluated by fasting glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR, and glycated hemoglobin level. BMI, facial sexual dimorphism, estradiol, testosterone, and hsCRP levels were controlled. Perceived age was evaluated based on standardized facial photos in an online survey. Additionally perceived facial aging was calculated as a difference between perceived age and chronological age. No relationship between the levels of biochemical indicators of glycemia and perceived facial age or aging was found both in men and women, also when controlled for possible confounders. This study shows that perceived facial age in adult individuals is rather linked with body adiposity of sexual dimorphism but not with glycemic markers.
Article
Full-text available
The article proposes a procedure of "photo-video presentation of physical appearance" as a method of a person’s perceived age studying. It was developed on the basis of V.A. Labunskaya̕s socio-psychological approach to the appearance of a person, as well as on the world practice of perceived age studying. "Perceived age" is considered as a result of a person’s physical appearance perception. It is the object age perception, attributed to it by the perception subject. The physical appearance of a person and its components act as age markers, which can be studied by people of different age photos and video images presenting to subjects of perception (evaluators). The article discusses some methodological problems that arise in the study of person’s perceived age, namely: what to show (photo/video, face/body), to whom to show (experts / ordinary people, men/women, young/elderly) and to how many appraisers to show. In the article on the basis of modern research the number of methodological approaches to designing the sets of photos and video images of appearance to study person’s perceived age are proposed.
Chapter
Skin aging research usually aims to uncover the causes of skin cancer and to improve the appearance of skin for cosmetic purposes. Skin aging could also offer a route to study systemic aging and health, for which the skin has a number of advantages such as its accessibility for measurement. However, this would partly depend on whether the biological mechanisms driving variation in human health also drive skin aging variation. Here, evidence is found that indeed some skin aging features associate with specific aspects of health (e.g., skin wrinkling and pulmonary disease), and perceived age, a measure of facial aging, consistently associates with survival and markers of systemic aging. Furthermore, as potential drivers of these links, lifestyle factors such as smoking, pollution, and diet associate with both advanced skin aging and disease. Hence, the study of skin and facial aging does offer a way to study systemic aging mechanisms, such as the effects of glucose, cortisol, IGF-1, estrogen, and cell senescence which associate with skin and facial aging features. However, pigmented spots associate with better metabolic health, obesity associates with reduced facial wrinkling, and sun exposure boosts vitamin D levels (essential for bone health) but drives advanced skin aging. Hence, while some variation in skin and facial aging mirrors systemic aging, other variations link inversely (i.e., advanced skin aging, better health). The causal mechanisms responsible for these links now need elucidating to enable the study of their mechanism of action in the skin and further the understanding of systemic aging and human health.
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, facial symmetry has been intensively researched. The present article aims to summarize empirical research concerning relations between facial symmetry and health and facial symmetry and personality. A systematic review of the literature shows that facial symmetry is one of the most influential visual markers of attractiveness and health, important for mate selection, while asymmetry can be considered a consequence of an individual’s inability to resist environmental and genetic stressors during development of the organism. However, in spite of evidence suggesting that preferences for facial symmetry are deeply rooted in our evolutionary history, a strong connection between facial symmetry and health is demonstrated only in studies measuring perceived health, while there is only scarce evidence corroborating the link between symmetry and actual health. The interconnections between facial symmetry and personality have not yet been extensively researched. Less than a dozen studies have addressed that issue and they have reached different conclusions. Some evidence suggests that facial symmetry signals personality attributes that indicate good psychological health, while other findings imply that pro-social personality traits negatively correlate with facial symmetry.
Chapter
Skin aging research usually aims to uncover the causes of skin cancer and to improve the appearance of skin for cosmetic purposes. Skin aging could also offer a route to study systemic aging and health, for which the skin has a number of advantages such as its accessibility for measurement. However, this would partly depend on whether the biological mechanisms driving variation in human health also drive skin aging variation. Here, evidence is found that indeed some skin aging features associate with specific aspects of health (e.g., skin wrinkling and pulmonary disease), and perceived age, a measure of facial aging, consistently associates with survival and markers of systemic aging. Furthermore, as potential drivers of these links, lifestyle factors such as smoking, pollution, and diet associate with both advanced skin aging and disease. Hence, the study of skin and facial aging does offer a way to study systemic aging mechanisms, such as the effects of glucose, cortisol, IGF-1, estrogen, and cell senescence which associate with skin and facial aging features. However, pigmented spots associate with better metabolic health, obesity associates with reduced facial wrinkling, and sun exposure boosts vitamin D levels (essential for bone health) but drives advanced skin aging. Hence, while some variation in skin and facial aging mirrors systemic aging, other variations link inversely (i.e., advanced skin aging, better health). The causal mechanisms responsible for these links now need elucidating to enable the study of their mechanism of action in the skin and further the understanding of systemic aging and human health.
Article
It is unknown whether facial or surrounding (eg, hair and clothing) cues have the strongest influence on the perceived age of subjects in photographic images, and which drives links between perceived age and survival. In 2001, 187 Danish twin pairs (n = 374) aged 70+ years were photographed generating passport-type images. The faces of the twins in these images were swapped creating two new images per twin pair (748 images in total). Ten nurses rated the perceived age of the twin from the original and swapped facial images. The survival of the twins was determined through to the end of 2013. Changing the face or its surrounding significantly changed the perceived age of the images, with only a marginal difference between their effect sizes (difference of 0.5 years, 95% confidence interval CI -0.1 to 1.1). Perceived age, adjusting for chronological age, and sex, was a predictor of survival up to 7 years (hazard ratio 1.17, 95% CI 1.10-1.25) and also 7-12 years (hazard ratio 1.06, 95% CI 1.00-1.12) after the photographs were taken. Where the older looking twin died first they had a significantly older looking face (1.4 years older, 95% CI 0.3-2.6) but not surrounding (0.3 years older, 95% CI -0.8 to 1.4) compared to where the older looking twin died second. Facial visual cues but not hair or clothing cues drive the link between perceived age and survival. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Article
Objective: Negative emotional states, such as anger and anxiety, are associated with the onset of myocardial infarction and other acute clinical manifestations of ischemic heart disease. The likelihood of experiencing these short-term negative emotions has been associated with long-term psychological background factors such as depression, generalized anxiety, and personality factors. We examined the association of acute emotional states preceding cardiac stress testing (CST) with inducibility of myocardial ischemia and to what extent psychological background factors account for this association. Methods: Emotional states were assessed in patients undergoing CST (N = 210; mean age 66.9 years (standard deviation (±) =8.2 years); 91 (43%) women) using self-report measures and video recordings of facial emotion expression. Video recordings were analyzed for expressed anxiety, anger, sadness, and happiness prior to CST. Psychological background factors were assessed with validated questionnaires. Single-photon emission computed tomography was used to evaluate inducibility of ischemia. Results: Ischemia occurred in 72 (34%) patients. Emotional states were not associated with subsequent inducibility of ischemia during CST (OR between 0.93 and 1.04; p-values >0.50). Psychological background factors were also not associated with ischemia (OR between 0.96 and 1.06 per scale unit; p values >0.20), and did not account for the associations of emotional states with ischemia. Conclusions: Emotional states immediately before CST and psychological background factors were not associated with the inducibility of ischemia. These findings indicate that the well-documented association between negative emotions with acute clinical manifestations of ischemic heart disease requires a different explanation than a reduced threshold for inducible ischemia.
Article
Introduction: Perceived age is defined as how old a person looks to external evaluators. It reflects the underlying biological age, which is a measure based on physical and physiological parameters reflecting a person's aging process more accurately than chronological age. People with a higher biological age have shorter lives compared to those with a lower biological age with the same chronological age. Our review aims to find whether increased perceived age is a risk factor for overall mortality risk or comorbidities. Methods: A literature search of three databases was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines for studies analyzing perceived age or isolated facial characteristics of old age and their relationship to mortality risk or comorbidity outcomes. Data on the number of patients, type and characteristics of evaluation methods, evaluator characteristics, mean chronologic age, facial characteristics studied, measured outcomes, and study results were collected. Results: Out of 977 studies, 15 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. These studies found an increase in mortality risk of 6-51% in older-looking people compared to controls (HR 1.06-1.51, p < 0.05). In addition, perceived age and some facial characteristics of old age were also associated with cardiovascular risk and myocardial infarction, cognitive function, bone mineral density, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Conclusion: Perceived age promises to be a clinically useful predictor of overall mortality and cardiovascular, pulmonary, cognitive, and osseous comorbidities. Level of evidence iii: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .
Article
Full-text available
The Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947 collected valid IQ-type test scores for almost everyone born in 1921 and 1936 and attending school on June 1, 1932 (N=89,498) and June 4, 1947 (N=70,805). These surveys are described. This research, using the surveys' data, examined (a) the stability of intelligence differences across the life span, (b) the determinants of cognitive change from childhood to old age, and (c) the impact of childhood intelligence on survival and health in old age. Surviving participants of the Scottish Mental Surveys were tested, and the surveys' data were linked with public and health records. Novel findings on the stability of IQ scores from age 11 to age 80; sex differences in cognitive aging; the dedifferentiation hypothesis of cognitive aging; and the effect of childhood IQ on all-cause and specific mortality, morbidity, and frailty in old age are presented.
Article
Full-text available
The authors investigated accuracy of judging intelligence from facial photos of strangers across the lifespan, facial qualities contributing to accuracy, and developmental paths producing correlations between facial qualities and IQ scores. Judgments were more accurate than chance in childhood and puberty, marginally more accurate in middle adulthood, but not more accurate than chance in adolescence or late adulthood. Reliance on the valid cue of facial attractiveness could explain judges’ accuracy. Multiple developmental paths contributed to relationships between facial attractiveness and IQ: biological, environmental, influences of intelligence on attractiveness, influences of attractiveness on intelligence. The findings provide a caveat to evolutionary psychologists’ assumption that relationships between attractiveness and intelligence or other traits reflect an influence of “good genes” on both, as well as to social and developmental psychologists’ assumption that such relationships reflect self-fulfilling prophecy effects. Each of these mechanisms failed to explain some observed correlations.
Article
Full-text available
AIthough intraclass correlation coefficients (lCCs) are commonIy used in behavioral measurement, pychometrics, and behavioral genetics, procodures available for forming inferences about ICC are not widely known. Following a review of the distinction between various forms of the ICC, this article presents procedures available for calculating confidence intervals and conducting tests on ICCs developed using data from one-way and two-way random and mixed-efFect analysis of variance models. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
A number of prospective cohort studies have examined the association between intelligence in childhood or youth and life expectancy in adulthood; however, the effect size of this association is yet to be quantified and previous reviews require updating. The systematic review included an electronic search of EMBASE, MEDLINE and PSYCHINFO databases. This yielded 16 unrelated studies that met inclusion criteria, comprising 22,453 deaths among 1,107,022 participants. Heterogeneity was assessed, and fixed effects models were applied to the aggregate data. Publication bias was evaluated, and sensitivity analyses were conducted. A 1-standard deviation (SD) advantage in cognitive test scores was associated with a 24% (95% confidence interval 23-25) lower risk of death, during a 17- to 69-year follow-up. There was little evidence of publication bias (Egger's intercept = 0.10, P = 0.81), and the intelligence-mortality association was similar for men and women. Adjustment for childhood socio-economic status (SES) in the nine studies containing these data had almost no impact on this relationship, suggesting that this is not a confounder of the intelligence-mortality association. Controlling for adult SES in five studies and for education in six studies attenuated the intelligence-mortality hazard ratios by 34 and 54%, respectively. Future investigations should address the extent to which attenuation of the intelligence-mortality link by adult SES indicators is due to mediation, over-adjustment and/or confounding. The explanation(s) for association between higher early-life intelligence and lower risk of adult mortality require further elucidation.
Article
Full-text available
Investigating the predictors of age-related cognitive change is a research priority. However, it is first necessary to discover the long-term stability of measures of cognitive ability because prior cognitive ability level might contribute to the amount of cognitive change experienced within old age. These two issues were examined in the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936. Cognitive ability data were available from age 11 years when the participants completed the Moray House Test No. 12 (MHT). The Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936) completed the MHT a second time at age 70. The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 (LBC1921) completed the MHT at ages 79 and 87. We examined cognitive stability and change from childhood to old age in both cohorts, and within old age in the LBC1921. Raw stability coefficients for the MHT from 11-70, 11-79, and 11-87 years were .67, .66, and .51, respectively; and larger when corrected for range restriction in the samples. Therefore, minimum estimates of the variance in later-life MHT accounted for by childhood performance on the same test ranged from 26-44%. This study also examined, in the LBC1921, whether MHT score at age 11 influenced the amount of change in MHT between ages 79 and 87. It did not. Higher intelligence from early life was apparently protective of intelligence in old age due to the stability of cognitive function across the lifespan, rather than because it slowed the decline experienced in later life.
Article
Full-text available
We investigated forms of socially relevant information signalled from static images of the face. We created composite images from women scoring high and low values on personality and health dimensions and measured the accuracy of raters in discriminating high from low trait values. We also looked specifically at the information content within the internal facial features, by presenting the composite images with an occluding mask. Four of the Big Five traits were accurately discriminated on the basis of the internal facial features alone (conscientiousness was the exception), as was physical health. The addition of external features in the full-face images led to improved detection for extraversion and physical health and poorer performance on intellect/imagination (or openness). Visual appearance based on internal facial features alone can therefore accurately predict behavioural biases in the form of personality, as well as levels of physical health.
Article
Full-text available
To determine whether perceived age correlates with survival and important age related phenotypes. Follow-up study, with survival of twins determined up to January 2008, by which time 675 (37%) had died. Population based twin cohort in Denmark. 20 nurses, 10 young men, and 11 older women (assessors); 1826 twins aged >or=70. Assessors: perceived age of twins from photographs. Twins: physical and cognitive tests and molecular biomarker of ageing (leucocyte telomere length). For all three groups of assessors, perceived age was significantly associated with survival, even after adjustment for chronological age, sex, and rearing environment. Perceived age was still significantly associated with survival after further adjustment for physical and cognitive functioning. The likelihood that the older looking twin of the pair died first increased with increasing discordance in perceived age within the twin pair-that is, the bigger the difference in perceived age within the pair, the more likely that the older looking twin died first. Twin analyses suggested that common genetic factors influence both perceived age and survival. Perceived age, controlled for chronological age and sex, also correlated significantly with physical and cognitive functioning as well as with leucocyte telomere length. 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 >or=70 and correlates with important functional and molecular ageing phenotypes.
Article
Full-text available
To assess the hazards associated with long term use of tobacco. Prospective study of mortality in relation to smoking habits assessed in 1951 and again from time to time thereafter, with causes sought of deaths over 40 years (to 1991). Continuation of a study that was last reported after 20 years' follow up (1951-71). 34,439 British male doctors who replied to a postal questionnaire in 1951, of whom 10,000 had died during the first 20 years and another 10,000 have died during the second 20 years. Excess mortality associated with smoking was about twice as extreme during the second half of the study as it had been during the first half. The death rate ratios during 1971-91 (comparing continuing cigarette smokers with life-long non-smokers) were approximately threefold at ages 45-64 and twofold at ages 65-84. The excess mortality was chiefly from diseases that can be caused by smoking. Positive associations with smoking were confirmed for death from cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, pharynx, larynx, lung, pancreas, and bladder; from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory diseases; from vascular diseases; from peptic ulcer; and (perhaps because of confounding by personality and alcohol use) from cirrhosis, suicide, and poisoning. A negative association was confirmed with death from Parkinson's disease. Those who stopped smoking before middle age subsequently avoided almost all of the excess risk that they would otherwise have suffered, but even those who stopped smoking in middle age were subsequently at substantially less risk than those who continued to smoke. Results from the first 20 years of this study, and of other studies at that time, substantially underestimated the hazards of long term use of tobacco. It now seems that about half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit.
Article
Full-text available
To examine whether in older people perceived age is associated with risk of total mortality independent of chronological age. Prospective population-based study (Evergreen project) with mortality surveillance for 13 years after the baseline. Face-to-face interview among community-dwelling residents of the city of Jyväskylä, Finland. 395 men and 770 women aged 65-84 years at baseline. Perceived physical age and perceived mental age were rated either as younger, the same or older in comparison with subject's chronological age. Death dates were received from the official register of the province of Central Finland. Confounders used were chronological age, education in years, number of long-term illnesses, self-rated health, depression score (Beck's 13-item depression scale), and cognitive status. Mortality rates per 1,000 person-years from the older to younger perceived physical age category were 99, 65 and 59 in men, and 81, 54 and 36 in women. In the perceived mental age categories, correspondingly, mortality rates were 139, 63 and 64 in men, and 82, 55 and 44 in women. The fully adjusted relative risk (RR) of death over 13 years with the perceived younger physical age category as referent was 1.42 (95% CI 1.00-2.02) in the older category and 1.28 (1.03-1.60) in the same age category (P=0.049). The crude RR of mortality for perceived mental age categories was 1.56 (1.09-2.23) in the older and 1.10 (0.92-1.31) in the same age as compared with the younger category (P=0.046). Adding cognitive status into the model diminished the predictive value of the model (P=0.545). Perceived age predicted worsening of health as described as mortality. Perceived age may indicate general well-being and faith in the future, potentially reflecting changes in health.
Article
Full-text available
This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is Suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
During 2006, even in the poorest countries, women can expect to outlive men > “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” > > Timothy Leary (1920-1996) T he year 2006 should not be allowed to pass without at least a quiet celebration that this is the first year in human history when—across almost all the world—women can expect to enjoy a longer life expectancy than men. That the trend is moving in this direction will probably be confirmed this week in the 2006 world health report. In its world health report of 2002, the World Health Organization, using data for 2001, reported that male life expectancy exceeded female life expectancy in only six countries: Nepal, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Bangladesh, and Swaziland.1 A year later, the situation seemed to have reversed in all six countries, with two other countries (Qatar and the Maldives) reporting that men were living slightly longer than women.2 In its …
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the determinants of cognitive aging is a research priority; however, few studies are able to examine the influence of pre-morbid cognitive ability on later changes in cognitive function. To examine the association between childhood cognitive ability and cognitive change from age 79 to 83 in the presence of other demographic and lifestyle indicators. The participants took a test of mental ability when aged 11 as part of the Scottish Mental Survey 1932. Cognitive ability based on Raven's Matrices, Verbal Fluency, and Logical Memory was assessed at ages 79 and 83. We used both linear regression and latent variable growth curve modeling to compare methods and results. Using linear regression, childhood mental ability was a significant predictor of cognitive change from 79 to 83, accounting for about 1.4% of the variance. Sex, education, social class, smoking status and alcohol intake were non-significant. In contrast, using latent variable growth curve modeling, there was no association between childhood mental ability and cognitive change. Sex (male), years of education, drinking status (positive), and childhood IQ were associated with better cognitive ability at age 79. The difference in results was due to the inability of linear regression to account completely for test-specific variance. Within a group of non-demented older people, greater childhood mental ability was associated with level of cognitive ability at age 79, but not with change in cognitive ability to age 83. To obtain accurate results regarding covariates of change, it is important to use methodology that can appropriately allocate all measured sources of variance.
Article
This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
Article
The SWLS consists of 5-items that require a ratingon a 7-point Likert scale. Administration is rarely morethan a minute or 2 and can be completed by interview(including phone) or paper and pencil response. The in-strumentshouldnotbecompletedbyaproxyansweringfortheperson.Itemsofthe SWLSaresummedtocreatea total score that can range from 5 to 35.The SWLS is in the public domain. Permission isnot needed to use it. Further information regardingthe use and interpretation of the SWLS can be foundat the author’s Web site http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/∼ediener/SWLS.html. The Web site alsoincludes links to translations of the scale into 27languages.
Article
The power of subjective health and subjective age in predicting survivorship among older people is evaluated relative to the predictive power of objective health and life expectancy, respectively, using data from a four-year longitudinal study of older people in San Antonio, Texas. While deceased persons and survivors differ significantly on all four measures at Time 1, discriminant function analysis shows that subjective health is not a significant predictor of survivorship when the other three variables are controlled. Subjective age, however, is at least equally predictive of survivorship as life expectancy.
Article
Purpose: Skin ageing is not a monolithic entity, but comprises several related sets of features. We sought to determine the number of related sets of skin ageing features and test whether these were associated with environmental exposures and measures of oxidative stress. Subjects and methods: Facial skin ageing features were scored by three independent raters from photographs on a narrow-age, community-resident cohort at age 83 years. Smoking, sun exposure (indoor or outdoor occupation), social class, body mass index, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, a measure of oxidative DNA damage) and Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC, a measure of antioxidant capacity) were measured as independent predictors of skin ageing. Skin ageing feature items with adequate inter-rater reliability were entered into an ordinal factor analysis to determine factor structure. Extracted factors were correlated with independent predictors of skin ageing. Results: Two hundred and fourteen (102 male, 112 female) photographs were considered to be of adequate quality for rating by all three raters. Inter-rater reliability was acceptable (Kendall's w > 0.6) for ten of the 16 scale items. Three factors were extracted, relating to pigmented spots, wrinkles and facial sagging, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed sex (P < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.605), BMI (P = 0.004, partial η2 = 0.063) and social class (P = 0.005, partial η2 = 0.061) to have significant effects on skin ageing. For participants with oxidative stress measures, in addition to sex and social class, 8-OHdG was positively associated with skin ageing (P < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.152), but not TEAC (P = 0.13). Conclusion: In this elderly cohort, skin ageing was associated with increased levels of oxidative stress. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS and European Union Geriatric Medicine Society. All rights reserved.
Article
An abstract is unavailable. This article is available as HTML full text and PDF.
Article
It has been proposed that a common cause underlies individual differences in bodily and cognitive decline in old age. No good marker for this common cause has been identified to date. Here, fluctuating asymmetry (FA), an indicator of developmental stability that relates to intelligence differences in young adults, was measured from facial photographs of 216 surviving members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 at age 83 and related to their intelligence at ages 11, 79 and 83 years. FA at age 83 was unrelated to intelligence at ages 11 and 79 and to cognitive change between 11 and 79 years. It was, however, associated with intelligence and information processing efficiency at age 83 and with cognitive change between 79 and 83 years. Significant results were limited to men, a result predicted by sex differences in life history tradeoffs and life expectancy. Results were stronger when directional asymmetries were corrected in facial FA measures. Thus, FA is a candidate marker for the common cause of differential senescence.
Article
In the current investigation, 20 undergraduate students rated 50 high school yearbook photographs from the 1920s on two measures, attractiveness and perceived health. These measures were then correlated with each other and with the photographed subjects' longevity. Facial attractiveness was found to predict future longevity, but perceived health did not. The results are discussed in terms of sexual selection theory.
Article
Humans find symmetrical faces more attractive than are asymmetrical faces. Evolutionary psychologists claim that our preference for symmetry can be explained in the context of mate choice because symmetry is an honest indicator of the genetic quality of potential mates. These arguments assume that asymmetry in human faces is fluctuating asymmetry (FA), because this form of asymmetry can be revealing of developmental instability. However, no study has yet examined the characteristics of facial asymmetry. Here we provide the first detailed study of the patterns of asymmetry in human faces. We measured asymmetry in 35 facial traits. Although some traits had distributions characteristic of FA, many had distributions that characterize directional asymmetry (DA); on average, both men and women had right hemi-face dominance. For DA traits we used deviations from the mean asymmetry as a measure of developmental instability. Our measures of asymmetry accounted for a moderate proportion of the variance in perceived symmetry. Importantly, only FAs and random deviations from DA contributed to people's perception of symmetry. DA was not important in symmetry judgments. Faces rated as symmetrical were also rated as attractive. Random deviations from DA were weakly related to women's attractiveness judgments of men's faces. DAs did not influence attractiveness judgments. Our data suggest that people focus on aspects of facial asymmetry that may be revealing of developmental instability. Further studies that isolate FA from other forms of asymmetry are required to accurately assess the influence of developmental instability on the quality of individuals and its potential role in mate preferences. Copyright 2004.
Article
To review systematically prospective, observational, cohort studies of the association between positive well-being and mortality using meta-analytic methods. Recent years have witnessed increased interest in the relationship between positive psychological well-being and physical health. We searched general bibliographic databases: Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and PubMed up to January 2008. Two reviewers independently extracted data on study characteristics, quality, and estimates of associations. There were 35 studies (26 articles) investigating mortality in initially healthy populations and 35 studies (28 articles) of disease populations. The meta-analyses showed that positive psychological well-being was associated with reduced mortality in both the healthy population (combined hazard ratio (HR) = 0.82; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 0.76-0.89; p < .001) and the disease population (combined HR = 0.98; CI = 0.95-1.00; p = .030) studies. There were indications of publication bias in this literature, although the fail-safe numbers were 2444 and 1397 for healthy and disease population studies, respectively. Intriguingly, meta-analysis of studies that controlled for negative affect showed that the protective effects of positive psychological well-being were independent of negative affect. Both positive affect (e.g., emotional well-being, positive mood, joy, happiness, vigor, energy) and positive trait-like dispositions (e.g., life satisfaction, hopefulness, optimism, sense of humor) were associated with reduced mortality in healthy population studies. Positive psychological well-being was significantly associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality in healthy population studies, and with reduced death rates in patients with renal failure and with human immunodeficiency virus-infection. The current review suggests that positive psychological well-being has a favorable effect on survival in both healthy and diseased populations.
Article
The present study describes a new approach to the assessment of biological age in adults using a profile of physical parameters. The investigation was based on data from 1086 adult male participants in the aging study of the gerontology research ctr., baltimore, md. For each of 24 age-related variables, data were transformed into biological age scores reflecting a man's status relative to his chronological age peers. Analysis of the mean biological age profiles of men who were estimated by physicians as looking older than their age showed them to be biologically older on the profile parameters as well. Comparison of age-corrected scores of 166 men who have died with those of survivors reveals the deceased group to have been biologically older than the survivors at the time they were measured. These results suggest the value of this technique in investigating interindividual variation in the aging process.
Article
The commonly held view that people age at different rates derives largely from visual estimates of age. Although most people "look their age' everyone can cite examples of individuals in middle and late adulthood who appear to be aging very slowly or very rapidly. Efforts to quantify aging rates scientifically require measurement of a large number of physiological parameters in a large population sample. This paper compares visual estimates of age with physiologically predicted measures to determine their value as indicators of the rate of aging. This study used data from 1086 male participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of the Gerontology Research Center, NIA. These men have provided comprehensive biomedical and psychosocial data at one and one-half years intervals for as long as 20 years. The visual estimate of age was made by the examining physician at the first study visit of each participant, without knowledge of the man's actual age. The error of this estimate was determined by subtracting actual age from estimated age. Correlation analysis of error in estimated age with an objective assessment of biological age based on physiological variables indicated a significant association between the two approaches. When men who have died since their study participation were compared with survivors, the former were found to have been significantly 'older for their age' than the latter using both visual and physiological estimate approaches. To determine whether certain lifestyle traits were associated with variation in these two indicators, multiple regression analyses were performed. These showed that men who smoked, who were fatter, or who were in poor health were predicted as older than their chronological age peers using both approaches. Results of this study suggest that the easily determined visual estimate of age may be a useful indicator of aging rate within a population.
Article
Developmental stability reflects the ability of a genotype to undergo stable development of a phenotype under given environmental conditions. Deviations from developmental stability arise from the disruptive effects of a wide range of environmental and genetic stresses, and such deviations are usually measured in terms of fluctuating asymmetry and phenodeviants. Fluctuating asymmetry is the most sensitive indicator of the ability to cope with stresses during ontogeny. There is considerable evidence that developmental stability, and especially fluctuating asymmetry, is a useful measure of phenotypic and genetic quality, because it covaries negatively with performance in multiple fitness domains in many species, including humans. It is proposed that developmental stability is an important marker of human health. Our goal is to initiate formally the integration of the sciences of evolutionary biology, developmental biology and medicine. We believe that this integrative framework provides a significant addition to the growing field of Darwinian medicine. The literature linking developmental stability and disease in humans is reviewed. Recent biological theoretical treatments pertaining to developmental stability are applied to a range of human health issues such as genetic diseases, ageing and survival, subfertility, abortion, child maltreatment by parents, cancer, infectious diseases, physiological and mental health, and physical attractiveness as a health certification.
Article
We investigated whether the attractive facial traits of averageness and symmetry signal health, examining two aspects of signalling: whether these traits are perceived as healthy, and whether they provide accurate health information. In Study 1, we used morphing techniques to alter the averageness and symmetry of individual faces. Increases in both traits increased perceived health, and perceived health correlated negatively with rated distinctiveness (a converse measure of averageness) and positively with rated symmetry of the images. In Study 2, we examined whether these traits signal real, as well as perceived, health, in a sample of individuals for whom health scores, based on detailed medical records, were available. Perceived health correlated negatively with distinctiveness and asymmetry, replicating Study 1. Facial distinctiveness ratings of 17-year-olds were associated with poor childhood health in males, and poor current and adolescent health in females, although the last association was only marginally significant. Facial asymmetry of 17-year-olds was not associated with actual health. We discuss the implications of these results for a good genes account of facial preferences.
Article
Cross-sectional studies of samples varying widely in age have found moderate to high levels of shared age-related variance among measures of cognitive and physiological capabilities, leading researchers to posit common factors or common causal influences for diverse age-related phenomenon. The influence of population average changes with age on cross-sectional estimates of association has not been widely appreciated in developmental and ageing research. Covariances among age-related variables in cross-sectional studies are highly confounded in regards to inferences about associations among rates of change within individuals since covariances can result from a number of sources including average population age-related differences (fixed age effects) in addition to initial individual differences and individual differences in rates of ageing (random age effects). Analysis of narrow age-cohort samples may provide a superior analytical basis for testing hypotheses regarding associations between rates of change in cross-sectional studies. The use of age-heterogeneous cross-sectional designs for evaluating interdependence of ageing-related processes is discouraged since associations will not necessarily reflect individual-level correlated rates of change. Typical cross-sectional studies do not provide sufficient evidence for the interdependence of ageing-related changes and should not serve as the basis for theories and hypotheses of ageing. Reanalyzing existing cross-sectional studies using a sequential narrow-age cohort approach provides a useful alternative for evaluating associations between ageing-related changes. Longitudinal designs, however, provide a much stronger basis for inference regarding associations between rates of ageing within individuals.
Article
To compare the hazards of cigarette smoking in men who formed their habits at different periods, and the extent of the reduction in risk when cigarette smoking is stopped at different ages. Prospective study that has continued from 1951 to 2001. United Kingdom. 34 439 male British doctors. Information about their smoking habits was obtained in 1951, and periodically thereafter; cause specific mortality was monitored for 50 years. Overall mortality by smoking habit, considering separately men born in different periods. The excess mortality associated with smoking chiefly involved vascular, neoplastic, and respiratory diseases that can be caused by smoking. Men born in 1900-1930 who smoked only cigarettes and continued smoking died on average about 10 years younger than lifelong non-smokers. Cessation at age 60, 50, 40, or 30 years gained, respectively, about 3, 6, 9, or 10 years of life expectancy. The excess mortality associated with cigarette smoking was less for men born in the 19th century and was greatest for men born in the 1920s. The cigarette smoker versus non-smoker probabilities of dying in middle age (35-69) were 42% nu 24% (a twofold death rate ratio) for those born in 1900-1909, but were 43% nu 15% (a threefold death rate ratio) for those born in the 1920s. At older ages, the cigarette smoker versus non-smoker probabilities of surviving from age 70 to 90 were 10% nu 12% at the death rates of the 1950s (that is, among men born around the 1870s) but were 7% nu 33% (again a threefold death rate ratio) at the death rates of the 1990s (that is, among men born around the 1910s). A substantial progressive decrease in the mortality rates among non-smokers over the past half century (due to prevention and improved treatment of disease) has been wholly outweighed, among cigarette smokers, by a progressive increase in the smoker nu non-smoker death rate ratio due to earlier and more intensive use of cigarettes. Among the men born around 1920, prolonged cigarette smoking from early adult life tripled age specific mortality rates, but cessation at age 50 halved the hazard, and cessation at age 30 avoided almost all of it.
Article
Health planners and policy makers are increasingly asking for a feasible method to identify vulnerable persons with the greatest health needs. We conducted a systematic review of the association between a single item assessing general self-rated health (GSRH) and mortality. Systematic MEDLINE and EMBASE database searches for studies published from January 1966 to September 2003. Two investigators independently searched English language prospective, community-based cohort studies that reported (1) all-cause mortality, (2) a question assessing GSRH; and (3) an adjusted relative risk or equivalent. The investigators searched the citations to determine inclusion eligibility and abstracted data by following a standardized protocol. Of the 163 relevant studies identified, 22 cohorts met the inclusion criteria. Using a random effects model, compared with persons reporting "excellent" health status, the relative risk (95% confidence interval) for all-cause mortality was 1.23 [1.09, 1.39], 1.44 [1.21, 1.71], and 1.92 [1.64, 2.25] for those reporting "good,"fair," and "poor" health status, respectively. This relationship was robust in sensitivity analyses, limited to studies that adjusted for co-morbid illness, functional status, cognitive status, and depression, and across subgroups defined by gender and country of origin. Persons with "poor" self-rated health had a 2-fold higher mortality risk compared with persons with "excellent" self-rated health. Subjects' responses to a simple, single-item GSRH question maintained a strong association with mortality even after adjustment for key covariates such as functional status, depression, and co-morbidity.
Article
Smoking tobacco is the most preventable cause of morbidity and is responsible for more than three million deaths a year worldwide. In addition to a strong association with a number of systemic diseases, smoking is also associated with many dermatological conditions, including poor wound healing, premature skin aging, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, oral cancer, acne, psoriasis, and hair loss. This review focuses on the effects of smoking on premature skin aging. It has been long established that smoking has deleterious effects on skin. Epidemiological studies indicate that smoking is an important environmental factor in premature skin aging. In vitro studies indicate that tobacco smoke extract impairs the production of collagen and increases the production of tropoelastin and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), which degrade matrix proteins, and also causes an abnormal production of elastosis material. Smoking increases MMP levels, which leads to the degradation of collagen, elastic fibers, and proteoglycans, suggesting an imbalance between biosynthesis and degradation in dermal connective tissue metabolism. Reactive oxygen species are also involved in tobacco smoke-induced premature skin aging. Scavengers of reactive oxygen species ameliorate the induction of MMP. Tobacco smoke extract also impacts dermal connective tissue in nude mice. Thus, in vitro and in vivo evidence indicates that smoking tobacco leads to accelerated aging of the skin. These findings might be useful to motivate those patients who are more concerned about their appearance than the potential internal damage associated with smoking to stop smoking.
Article
In a previous field-based study, how old one looks for one's age (perceived age) was found to be predictive of mortality in elderly individuals. In conjunction, perceived age is of relevance and interest to the layperson. Here, a clinical methodology for generating perceived age as a biomarker of facial ageing is detailed. The methodology utilises facial photographs of subjects to present images to large numbers of age assessors who are primarily nationals of the country of study origin. In five observational studies in five different countries involving 874 female subjects it was found that subject age and assessor gender, nationality, age and ageing expertise had little effect on the perceived age data generated. However, increasing the numbers of age assessors up to 50 substantially increased the reproducibility of the mean perceived age for an image and a minimum of 10 assessors were required to give reproducible data. This methodology was also compared to a methodology that utilises passport-type photographs of subjects typically taken in field studies. Although the perceived age data from the two types of images were more similar to each other than to chronological age, there was a marked difference between the two sets of data. Therefore, to allow meaningful comparisons across perceived age studies, the same type of image should be used for the generation of perceived age. In conclusion, the methodology detailed here has demonstrated that perceived age can be a reproducible measure when large numbers of adult age assessors are used and can be utilised globally in studies to investigate facial ageing.
The Intelligence of Scottish Children: A National Survey of an Age-Group
  • Scottish Council
  • Research In Education
Scottish Council for Research in Education. The Intelligence of Scottish Children: A National Survey of an Age-Group. London: University of London Press; 1933.