Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource

 Browse alphabetically
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Childhood Vaccinations
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Healthy Skin
High Blood Pressure
Kidney Health
Low Testosterone NEW!
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features

Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Weight Management > Research news > Study: Aging sped up by smoking and obesity
Weight Management
A weighty issue
Reality check
The losing formula
Weight loss tips and tricks
Road blocks to weight loss
The maintaining game
The skinny on being underweight
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Research news
Study: Aging sped up by smoking and obesity
Study: Breastfeeding for longer may lessen weight troubles later in life
Study: Daily weigh-in helpful for some dieters
Study: Diet and weight-loss drug helps diabetics lose weight
Study: Ephedra-free weight loss aids pose similar risks
Study: Excess body fat in teens may be a precursor to heart disease
Study: Foot and ankle pain caused by person's weight
Study: Increasing protein may curb appetite
Study: Lose weight and keep it off with six steps
Study: New obesity risk factor - being chained to your desk
View All
Weight Management resources
Health features
Health tools
Support groups
Related medications
Related conditions
Natural products
Discussion forums
Quiz yourself

Study: Aging sped up by smoking and obesity

Two major health hazards - smoking and obesity - can add yet another feature to their dossier of potential health risks. A study published in The Lancet has linked both to hurrying up the aging process.

Dr. Tim Spector of St. Thomas Hospital in London led a team of researchers who concluded, "our findings suggest that obesity and cigarette smoking accelerate human aging."

The study examined about 1,100 Caucasian women in Britain, focusing on the telomere length of their white blood cells. Telomeres are end caps of chromosomes, which contain DNA. Telomeres are believed to shorten over a person's lifetime as a function of the aging process.

The researchers found that obese women, as well as those who smoked over a prolonged period, had shorter telomeres compared to lean women and those who smoked less or not at all. Specifically, the researchers determined that smoking contributed to about 4.6 years of aging, while obesity can age a person by nearly nine years.

It is important to keep in mind that the years of aging determined here relate to the length of telomeres, and not of overall aging.

"Obesity and smoking are important risk factors for many age-related diseases," the researchers said. "Both are states of heightened oxidative stress…and inflammation," which may be associated with the accelerated aging of white blood cells.

All participants in the study were twins and were between the ages of 18 and 76. Roughly half of these women had never smoked while 369 had smoked previously but stopped, and 203 currently smoke.

Those who smoked at least a pack a day for more than 40 years had telomeres that were as long as non-smoking women who were over seven years older. Each year of smoking was responsible for contributing to an 18 % increase in telomere loss.

Other studies have supported Spector's hypothesis regarding the connection between the length of telomeres and aging. For instance, one study drew an association between shorter telomeres and a greater risk of death from heart disease and infectious diseases, while another indicated a link between shorter telomeres and chronic stress.

Overall, the study lends support to the belief that being lean and smoke-free can prevent your life from being cut short. "Our results emphasize the potential wide-ranging effects of the two most important preventable exposures in developed countries-cigarettes and obesity," wrote the researchers.

The study was based on a limited sample of subjects and the researchers agreed on the need for further research on the topic.


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2015 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.