WellNews: A new wrinkle in face-aging
Feb 16,2009 00:00 by Scott_LaFee

It's an old adage that if you want to see what somebody will look like in old age, check out their parents. But a new study suggests that even more than heredity, events in a person's life strongly influence their appearance overtime.

"A person's heritage may initially dictate how they age," said Dr. Bahaman Guyuron, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at University Hospitals Medical Center in Arlington Heights, Ill. "But if you introduce certain factors into your life, you will certainly age faster."

Guyuron and colleagues compared 186 pairs of identical twins, asking them to provide images and fill out comprehensive questionnaires about their lives. An independent panel reviewed the images.

The researchers found that twins who were divorced appeared to be nearly two years older than siblings who were married, single or even widowed. Antidepressant use and significant weight gain or loss also made people look older.

Guyuron largely blamed that old bugaboo, stress, calling it a common denominator. In the case of antidepressants, however, he said the prolonged pharmaceutically enforced relaxation of facial muscles likely caused the face to sag more and faster than normal.

BODY OF KNOWLEDGE

To survive, adults need to inhale about 88 pounds of oxygen daily.

OBSERVATION

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

— American humorist Mark Twain

GET ME THAT. STAT!

Celiac disease — a condition characterized by severe, chronic inflammation of the small intestine due to exposure to gluten proteins found in grain — was once believed to be rare. New data suggests it's significantly more prevalent, affecting 1 percent of the U.S. population or up to 1 in every 133 Americans, according to University of Michigan research.

NUMBER CRUNCHER

A single McDonald's sausage patty (43 grams) contains 170 calories, 135 from fat. That's 23 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet.

It also contains 30 milligrams of cholesterol (10 percent); 310 mg of sodium (13 percent); 2 grams of total carbohydrates (1 percent) and 7 g of protein.

BEST MEDICINE

Patient: Doc, you have to help me out!

Doctor: Certainly, which way did you come in.

STORIES FOR THE WAITING ROOM

Next time you're waiting to see your doctor about hypertension and the subject of caffeine comes up, remember this: It's not true that tea has more caffeine than coffee.

It is true that dry tea leaves contain a higher proportion of caffeine by weight than coffee beans. But an average cup of coffee contains roughly three times as much caffeine as an average cup of tea because it takes more beans to brew it.

MEDTRONICA

Fish facts for healthy nutrition

www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/oehas/fish

Hosted by the Washington State Department of Health, this is a straightforward and easy-to-use collection of guidelines and advice for what kinds of fish to eat, and when and how to avoid contaminants.

PHOBIA OF THE WEEK

Catoptrophobia: fear of mirrors

CURTAIN CALLS

In 2007, 11 people in southeast India were killed by a migrating herd of elephants, driven out of their natural territory by heavy rains and increased mining operations. The deaths prompted a team of four journalists to see for themselves the level of pachyderm peril.

Elephants, it should be noted, are not just big, but also fast. In fact, they are faster than a running man. The journalists eventually found the troublesome herd and began taking photos. The flashes apparently angered the elephants — they charged. Remarkably, only one of the four journalists was trampled to death. His remains could not be retrieved.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.