Plastic surgery study reveals stress increases appearance of aging
04 February 2009A study released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has found that genetics are not entirely to blame for wrinkles. Stressful environmental factors, including divorce, abnormal weight loss and use of antidepressants, can all add years to the appearance of your face, according to the study published this week. The report's author, Bahaman Guyuron, told Agence France Press: "A person's heritage may initially dictate how they age - but if you introduce certain factors into your life, you will certainly age faster. Likewise, if you avoid those factors, you can slow down the hands of time." The study was published in the web-based publication "Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery," an ASPS cosmetic surgery medical journal. It could point to why some younger women head to clinics for line and wrinkle treatments such as Botox, or facelift surgery. Article researchers examined 186 pairs of identical twins, noting that "they are genetically programmed to age exactly the same." The study found that twins who had been divorced looked about two years older than their identical siblings who were married, widowed or single. The researchers also found that the use of antidepressants and weight gain could also affect perceived age, as antidepressant use could cause skin to sag, while losing abnormal amounts of weight could have a harmful effect on health and appearance. Researchers noted that in a set of twins younger than 40, the heavier twin appeared older. However, in a set of twins over 40, the heavier twin seemed younger. Guyuron said: "The presence of stress could be one of the common denominators in those twins who appeared older."