This groundbreaking twins study reveals how environmental factors influence human aging

This groundbreaking twins study reveals how environmental factors influence human aging

In the eternal quest for the fountain of youth, scientists conducted a twins study revealing the secrets behind human aging. Read on to learn how environmental factors like body mass index, smoking, sun exposure, and hormone treatments shape our pursuit of ageless beauty.

In a groundbreaking study (conducted by scientists Guyuron, Bahman M.D.; Rowe, David J. M.S., M.D.; Weinfeld, Adam Bryce M.D.; Eshraghi, Yashar M.D.; Fathi, Amir M.D.; Iamphongsai, Seree M.D.) aimed at understanding the environmental factors contributing to facial aging, researchers gathered insights from 186 pairs of identical twins at the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.

The twins participated by completing detailed questionnaires, and digital images were captured for analysis. A panel of experts independently reviewed these images, noting perceived age differences and facial features among the twins. The correlation between perceived age differences and various factors was then examined. And the results are quite fascinating and sobering.

Among the main criteria influencing human body aging were: smoking (with every decade of smoking contributing to the body appearing older by 2,5 years), sun exposure, hormonal treatment, and alcohol consumption.

186 pairs of identical twins aging research
© National Library of Medicine

For twins under 40, a higher body mass index (BMI) by four points was linked to an older appearance, but intriguingly, this trend reversed after the age of 40, resulting in a younger appearance (p < 0.0001). Similarly, an eight-point higher BMI was associated with an older look in twins under 55 but resulted in a more youthful appearance after 55 (p < 0.0001).

Smoking and prolonged sun exposure were identified as significant contributors to an older appearance, with the aging effect accelerating over time (p < 0.0001). Twins engaging in hormone treatment exhibited a more youthful appearance (p < 0.002).

Facial wrinkles were more prominent in twins with a history of skin cancer (p < 0.05) and those who smoked (p < 0.005). Dark, mottled skin discoloration was less common in twins with a higher BMI (p < 0.01) but more prevalent in those with a history of smoking (p < 0.005) and sun exposure (p < 0.005). Hair quantity was positively correlated with a higher BMI (p < 0.01) but negatively affected by a history of skin cancer (p < 0.005) and positively influenced by hormone use (p < 0.05).

In summary, this study provides robust statistical evidence supporting the influence of various factors on facial aging, shedding light on unexpected trends that could redefine our understanding of the aging process. So, as you've probably heard and read so many times before, remember to eat healthily, avoid smoking and alcohol consumption, wear SPF, try not to spend too much time in the sun, stay hydrated, and sleep well.