According to a recent study, attractive people are less likely to get chronic illnesses including many common conditions, such as high blood pressure, ADHD, and tinnitus. Researchers say this proves that beauty is a tool for signaling healthy genes.
Attractiveness and Illness
This is not a small study conducted at some out-of-the-way college. It’s based on the medical records of 15,000 people who have been followed since they were at the age of 10. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and elsewhere then correlated those numbers with attractiveness ratings that were based on 90-minute interviews with candidates. They were not surprised to find that the attractiveness ratings had an inverse relationship to the amount of illness people suffered.
Among the benefits experienced by attractive men:
23% less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
21% less likely to stutter
20% lower risk of high blood pressure
15% less likely to experience depression
13% reduction in the likelihood of high cholesterol
Women had slightly different benefits of their attractiveness:
22% lower risk of diabetes
21% lower risk of high blood pressure
18% less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
18% less likely to stutter
17% less likely to experience depression
13% less likely to have tinnitus
12% less likely to be asthmatic
In addition to these objective measures, attractive men and women were more likely to be positive about their health. They took fewer sick days off, and were diagnosed with fewer chronic diseases, psychological illnesses, and disease.
According to researchers this positive correlation is due to the fact that appearance is a signal for healthy genes.
Good Genes or Halo Effects?
But there are other good explanations for the correlation between attractiveness and lower disease risks. Comorbid conditions between disease and unattractiveness are common. Obesity, for example, connects high blood pressure and diabetes, and is associated with lower perception of attractiveness.
And some of these reductions in so-called illnesses may actually be related to attractiveness. If you’re attractive, for example, you may be less likely to get depressed because you have more friends and feel better about your life.
Another potential explanation for the connection is the “halo effect.” According to Dr. Viren Swami: “People think that “what is beautiful is good”, and we call this a halo effect. Attractive people are perceived as having all kinds of wonderful, positive qualities, and seen as being happier, more popular, more successful, and so on. We also treat them more positively than less attractive people. We give them more social space [e.g., more time and understanding to achieve a task] and we are more likely to help them.” ADHD provides a great example. If an unattractive child acts out in class, they are seen as troublemakers and are sent to the principle and then to the doctor where they get a diagnosis. An attractive child acting out may merely be described as “precocious.”
TMJ Affects Attractiveness and Causes Tinnitus
TMJ is another example of a condition that may affect your attractiveness and lead to tinnitus. In TMJ, some people develop asymmetrical jaw configurations that can reduce your attractiveness. And because the jaw system can impinge on your nerves and ear tissue, you may experience mysterious sounds that have no physical cause, which is what we call tinnitus.
Fortunately, TMJ treatment may be able to restore your face’s symmetry and help reduce tinnitus.
To learn more about the benefits of TMJ treatment in Columbia, SC, please call 803-781-9090 today to schedule an appointment at Smile Columbia Dentistry..