What does your FINGERPRINT reveal about your health? Dermatoglyphics, the study of how they relate to the human condition, can reveal disease
02/07/2019 // Jhoanna Robinson // Views

Researchers recently found that fingerprints, which have long been used to determine the perpetrators in a crime scene, can also help track down people who are at risk of certain diseases before their symptoms manifest.

According to research, women with a specific set of fingerprints – such as those that have fewer loops and more arches - are more prone to cancer, especially of the gynecological sort.

Earlier studies have stated that there is a connection between fingerprints – along with unique palm prints – and the risk of conditions that include Alzheimer's, diabetes, leukemia, depression, and even gum disease.

Dermatoglyphics is the study of the epidermal ridge patterns of the skin of the palms, fingers, soles, and toes. Each person's fingerprints – composed of tiny ridges and troughs in the skin – are unique. Even twins, who share the same DNA, have different fingerprints. Each unique pattern is produced by a combination of effects on the fetal fingers in the womb when they first start appearing between the 11th and 24th week of pregnancy. The ridges of the fingerprints are permanent throughout life and live past superficial injuries and environmental changes after the 21st week intra-uterine life. Fingerprint patterns of dermal ridges can be classified into three categories: arches, loops, and whorls.

The environment in the womb is affected by certain factors that include hormonal mix, maternal diet, and any infections, blood pressure, the density of amniotic fluid around the fetal fingers, and the position of the fetus in the womb – these, as well as genes, hold the secret to determining each unique pattern.


Among the most common links of a specific fingerprint pattern to health problems include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, gum disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and infertility.

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research in 2015, men with coronary heart disease are more likely to be those with more ridges in specific areas and different whorl patterns in their fingerprints.

In a study that was published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology in 2017, women who have gynecological cancers tended to have fewer loops in their fingerprints and a higher number of arch patterns. (Related: Gardasil genetic fingerprints found in postmortem samples of girls given vaccine.)

A separate study showed that doctors at the University Hospital Zagreb in Croatia discovered that people who have cancer of the pituitary gland have fingerprints with a smaller number of ridges, a 2016 report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health showed.

“Fingerprints are genetically determined. Cancers develop when there are genetic defects, so it's not surprising that there may be links. The possibility that a fingerprint might give the clinician an insight into the risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is obviously exciting. We look forward to further studies to clarify the role of fingerprints to help in early diagnosis,” Birmingham Prostate Clinic consultant urologist and clinical director Alan Doherty said.

For more stories on more scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, visit Scientific.news.

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