Women who look younger than their years are more likely to have low blood pressure, according to the findings of a small study at a Dutch university.
The research, which included industry scientists from the multinational company Unilever, 650 participants were split into groups according to their risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.
Among women, those in the group with the lowest cardiovascular risk were found to look two years younger than those in other groups, based on "perceived age" assessments made by Unilever employees who were asked to look at photographs of the participants.
However, among men there was no discernible difference, the researchers at Leiden University said.
"We found that the feature in the face that blood pressure was linked to was not skin wrinkles but likely what we term as the 'sag' in the face. The exciting thing is further investigations will enable exact pin-pointing of the feature in the face that signposts an individual's blood pressure," said Dr David Gunn, senior scientist at Unilever.
The study also found that men from long-lived families tended to look younger than men in control group of the same age, and both women and men from long-lived families had less skin-wrinkling on the upper arm than control groups of the same age.