Just when you thought the only thing the size of you child’s fingers would tell you is whether or not they areathletically inclined, think again. Recent studies show that finger size can also determine the likelihood of a heart attack. According to a soon-to-published report in the British Journal of Cardiology (www.bjcardio.co.uk), the length of a young boy’s finger may provide a clue as to whether he will be at risk of a heart attack in early adulthood.
Scientists at Liverpool University have established a link between the length of baby boys’ fingers and the child’s chances of having a heart attack at an unusually young age. Researchers believe this link could provide doctors with a simple way to spot potential heart disease victims earlier than they ever imagined possible.
The research shows that boys with shorter ring fingers tend to be at greatest risk. Why? Because at this age, boys tend to have lower levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, which is known to protect against heart attack. The genes that are indirectly responsible for the production of testosterone and the female hormone estrogen also control the development of the fingers.
According to an article outlining the research and published www.news.bbc.co.uk, researchers say that males tend to have a relatively longer ring finger compared to the index finger than females.
The study points out that for a man, the ring finger tends to be about 2% longer than the index finger. The longer your ring finger, the more protected you are against heart attack, because the more testosterone you have. Researchers say that there is a relationship between the ratio between these two finger lengths and the age at heart attack of people who do have heart attacks.
Interestingly enough, the ratio between the two fingers remains the same throughout life.
Short ring fingers did not necessarily mean that boys would go on to have heart attacks, but short ring fingers should alert their parents to do what they can to lessen the risk.
So stop what you’re doing right NOW, and check out the finger lengths of your children.
Researchers Dr John Manning and Dr Peter Bundred examined 151 male heart attack victims and they found the age range for heart attacks in men where the index finger was relatively long was 35 to 80 years of age, but in those with relatively long ring fingers it was 58 to 80.
Manning was also responsible for uncovering links between finger-length and sporting ability. (Check the AC Archives for an article on this finding). Manning remains one of the first academics to become interested in finger length and health traits and says that this area of research will become a lot more significant in the future.
But hands aren’t only significant in what they signal about medical predispositions, they’re also an easily accessible, and visible, place to watch for symptoms, too. In fact, there’s evidence that Hippocrates may have been one of the earliest medics to realize how much his profession could learn from a simple hand examination.
According to www.health.uk.msn.com, there are a whole host of things to look out for. Red palms can indicate liver disease. Knobbly Knuckles, especially on the lower finger joints, can indicate that a patient has rheumatoid arthritis, and the color of the creases in the hand, as well as the redness behind the fingernail, can indicate whether someone is anemic.
Finger nails, in particular, could be one of the best windows on the body’s internal workings. According to the study published in Health.UK, it’s not uncommon for the nails to stop growing at a time of medical trauma- and they start to grow again, there’s often a little ridge to mark the point, which eventually grows out. There are other things to look out for regarding your finger nails – pitting — which makes them look as though they’ve been shot with an air gun, can indicate a skin condition like psoriasis. And though you might think psoriasis would be diagnosed by the skin problems, researchers say that sometimes psoriasis sometimes only causes joint inflammation, so the nails can give an important clue. Splinter hemorrhages in the nails — which look like tiny red splinters — can be a sign of infection in the heart or blood. And clubbing — where the nail loses its angle at the base and bends in at the top — can be a sign of lack of oxygen in the blood caused by heart or lung disease.
Parallel to this study to one currently being overseen by Dr. Manning where research reveals that the length of a man’s fingers can also reveal how physically aggressive he is.
More on that report later. In the meantime, go measure your son’s fingers.