Watch out for those signs of aging--they may be telling you that your heart isn’t as healthy as you thought it was. New findings have linked four signs of such as graying of hair, progressive balding, and even wrinkly ears to an increased risk for cardiac conditions.

In a study posted on, researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analyzed data from 10,885 participants ages 40 years and above. Among the participants, 7,537 have receding temple hairlines, 3,938 were getting bald at the crown, 3,405 have creases on their earlobes, and 678 have xanthelasmata, or yellowish fatty deposits around the eye.

The researchers followed up on the participants after the initial data collation, and found that 3,401 of them have developed heart conditions, and 1,708 have had heart attacks. According to the findings, xanthelasmata was the strongest indicator of cardiac diseases.

"The visible signs of aging reflect physiologic or biological age, not chronological age, and are independent of chronological age," senior study author and professor of clinical biochemistry Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, M.D., explains.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 27 or 67; what matters is how old your body is. Abusing it with an unhealthy lifestyle is a surefire way to get biologically old, so while there’s time, it’s best to let go of vices, and to start eating and exercising right. There’s nothing worse than being in your prime and knowing that your organs are older than you actually are.

(Photo by JJBulley via Flickr Creative Commons; used for illustrative purposes only.)

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