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Ten Weird Health Clues

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Interesting stuff.  I love stuff like this, but it also scares me a bit!

1) Finger length. Women whose index fingers are shorter than their ring fingers may be twice as prone to osteoarthritis in the knees, found a 2008 study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. Those with this predominately male characteristic tend to have lower levels of estrogen, which may also play a role in the development of osteoarthritis, say researchers.
2) Height. Women taller than 5-foot-2 may be missing a gene mutation that helps them reach their 100th birthday, according to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
3) Leg length. If your legs are on the stocky side, you may need to take better care of your liver. In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, British researchers found that women with legs between 20 and 29 inches tended to have higher levels of four enzymes that indicate liver disease. Factors such as childhood nutrition may not only influence growth patterns, but also liver development well into adulthood, say researchers.
4) Sense of smell. Older adults who couldn’t identify the scent of bananas, lemons, cinnamon, or other items were five times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease within four years, according to a 2008 study in the Annals of Neurology. The researchers believe that the area of the brain responsible for olfactory function may be one of the first impacted by Parkinson’s disease – somewhere between 2 and 7 years prior to diagnosis.
5) Arm length. Have a hard time reaching the top of your kitchen cabinets? Women with the shortest arm spans were 1 1/2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with longer reaches, found a 2008 study in the journal Neurology. (Find yours by spreading your arms parallel to the floor and having someone measure fingertips to fingertips; the shortest spans were less than 60 inches.) Nutritional or other deficits during the critical growing years, possibly responsible for shorter arms, may also predispose a person to cognitive decline later in life, say Tufts University researchers.
6) Earlobe crease. Multiple studies show that linear wrinkles in one or both lobes may predict future cardiovascular events (heart attack, bypass surgery, or cardiac death.) A crease on one lobe raises the risk by 33 percent; a crease on both lobes increases it by 77 percent, even after adjusting for other known risk factors, found a study in The American Journal of Medicine. Though experts aren’t exactly sure, they suspect a loss of elastic fibers may cause both the crease and the hardening of arteries.
7) Jean size. Adults who have larger abdomens in their 40s are up to 3.6 times as likely to develop dementia in their 70s, even if they weren’t overweight, according to a 2008 study published in the journal Neurology. One possible reason for the link is that compared with subcutaneous fat (the noticeable fat that lies just below the skin), visceral fat (the dangerous fat that surrounds the organs) secretes more of the inflammatory hormones that are associated with cognitive decline.
8) Bra size. A D-cup may also spell diabetes: Women who wore a bra size D or larger at age 20 were 1.5 times more likely to develop type 2 than those who wore an A or smaller, even after researchers adjusted for obesity, diet, smoking, and family history, in a 10-year study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It may be that the fat tissue in a woman’s breast is hormonally sensitive and influences insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes, say researchers.
9) Calf size. Though it sounds counterintuitive, a 2009 French study in the journal Stroke found that women with small calves (13 inches or less around) tended to develop more carotid plaques, a known risk factor for stroke. The subcutaneous fat in larger calves may pull fatty acids from the bloodstream and store them where they are less of a risk factor, say researchers.
10) Blood type. People with type A, B, or AB were 44 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with type O, according to a recent study of 107,503 adults by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Harvard Medical School. This may indicate that the gene that determines blood type may also carry a genetic risk for pancreatic cancer.

Source:  Fox News

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