This new study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), looked at the visible effects on age of heavy consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
The 11,613 study participants, aged 21 to 93, were on average 51 years old and followed for nearly 12 years by a team of Danish researchers.
Smokers and drinkers look older …
Of these, 57% of women and 67% of men were smokers . The average alcohol consumption was 2.6 drinks per week for women and 11.4 for men.
Researchers looked at four signs of aging that had previously been linked to a significant risk of cardiovascular disease or death: the folds of the earlobe, the presence of a greyish opaque colored ring or an arc around the cornea of the eyes. two eyes, yellow-orange plates on the eyelids (xanthelasma) and finally, a type of baldness in men retreating the hairline on the top of the head.
The most common sign of aging among both sexes was the formation of an arc around the cornea of the eyes with a frequency of 60% for men and 70% for women.
The study shows that among those who smoked and abused, the risk was consistently higher that they looked older than their actual age and developed an arc around the cornea, folds of the lobe ear and xanthelasmata.
Smoking affects the physical signs of aging more
In detail, compared to weekly drinking of up to 7 glasses, 28 or more glasses were associated with 33% risk and a bow on the cornea among women and 35% among men. who consumed 35 or more drinks a week.
By definition, moderate drinking consists of consuming up to one drink of alcohol per day for women and men 65 years and older and up to two drinks per day for men under 65 years of age.
In addition, smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes a day for 15 to 30 years was associated with 41% increased risk for women and 12% for men compared to non-smokers.
In contrast, those who rarely or moderately consume alcohol are no more marked by signs of age than abstainers, according to the study.
Finally, male pattern baldness has not been associated with excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco, ” probably because the phenomenon is strongly influenced by genes and male hormone levels “.