• Smoking Effects — Twins and Aging

    Smoking Effects — Twins and Aging

    I am a practicing plastic surgeon so it will probably not come as a surprise that many of the articles I discuss will come from the plastic surgery literature (as I am sure Dr. Tyberg’s articles will reflect his specialty of medical cardiology). There was a recent article in the November issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Okada, HC, et. al. PRS 132:1085 11/2013) that was both interesting and relevant to the topics in the PREVENTION and POLICTICS blogs in this issue of HospitalSmarts.com.

    The authors identified 79 pairs of twins where:

    1. one of them smoked and the other one did not or
    2. if they both smoked, one of them smoked for at least 5 years longer than the other

    A panel of 3 judges who did not know the twins smoking history examined photos of each twin and graded them for wrinkles and age related facial changes. In the panels assessment,  the smokers had statistically significant worse scores than their non-smoking twins for:

    1. upper eyelid skin excess
    2. bags under the eyes (both on the lid and on the cheek)
    3. deepening of the nasolabial fold (the line that runs from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth
    4. prominence of their jowls
    5. upper lips lines (justifiably called I guess “smoker’s lines) and
    6. lower lip lines

    They had a tendency to having more hyperpigmentation.  Forehead lines and crow’s feet did not appear to be any different in the sets of twins.  Similarly, those deep lines that appear in the upper lip while puckering ones lips were not any different as well.

    As we read in the PREVENTION blog, in this issue of HospitalSmarts.com, one of the leading preventable causes of death is smoking.  Well now we learn that it not only is bad for your health but it makes you look older as well.  More reason not to start and, if you have, to quit!

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