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Environment more important than genes in facial ageing

Cosmetic surgery
New research suggests that people who want non-surgical treatments to rejuvenate their face are more likely to have environmental factors to blame than their genes.

A study by cosmetic surgeons at University Hospitals Case Medical Centre compared the appearance of 186 pairs of identical twins who are genetically programmed to age at exactly the same rate.

An independent panel then viewed images of the siblings and recorded the perceived age gap between them.

"In doing so we essentially discovered that, when it comes to your face, it is possible to cheat your biological clock," said study author Dr Bahaman Guyuron, professor and chairman of the centre's department of plastic surgery.

The study is published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and suggests that environmental factors, such as divorce and the use of antidepressants, can add years onto a person's perceived age.

Individuals who had been divorced were found to look nearly two years older than their siblings who were single, married or widowed.

Antidepressant use and excess weight were also found to contribute to an older appearance.

Dr Guyuron concluded that, while a person's genes may initially dictate how they age, "if you introduce certain factors into your life, you will certainly age faster".

The findings suggest that people who have gone through a divorce or have taken antidepressants may be more likely to consider non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse.

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Cosmetic surgery news : 09/02/2009