ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Smog Tougher on the Obese
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
FITNESS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
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Sun, Smoke, Extra Weight Add Years to Skin

Smoking, being overweight and not using sunscreen all take an additional toll on sun-damaged skin, a new study of twins shows.

The findings, from researchers at Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, suggest that "people with the same genetic composition are more likely to have the same sort of sun damage," said Dr. Jonette Keri, an assistant professor of dermatology at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

In other words, "if your mom aged poorly, you are going to age poorly," she said.

But while you can't run away from your genes, you can control certain environmental or lifestyle factors to keep your skin looking younger for longer.

The report is published in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

According to the study authors, long-term sun exposure causes physical and structural changes to the skin that damages the skin. But while usual skin aging is characterized by the development of fine wrinkles and skin growths, sun-damaged skin includes more coarsely wrinkled skin, spots of extra pigment or lost pigment and dilated blood vessels on the face.

However, as much as 40 percent of aging-related changes are due to environmental or lifestyle factors, not a person's genetics, the researchers said.

The new study in twins -- who share so much of the same genetic material -- seems to make that clear, one expert said.

"I would think that twins would each have the same response to sun exposure as their sibling," said Dr. Jeffrey Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. He was not involved in the new research.

For the study, Kathryn J. Martires, from Case Western, and her colleagues collected data on 65 pairs of twins (both identical and fraternal) who attended the 2002 annual Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Martires's team asked each participant about skin type, history of skin cancer, smoking, drinking habits and weight.

Skin damage was similar among the twins whether they were identical of fraternal, the researchers found. But factors outside of genes appeared highly linked with increased skin damage. These included a history of skin cancer, heavier weight and smoking. Drinking was associated with having less skin damage, Martires's group noted.

The overweight-wrinkle connection isn't so obvious, Keri said. Often, weight makes people look older but it can also hide skin damage as the weight fills out their face. "They won't look as wrinkly because the fat on their face is plumping out their skin," she said.

Salomon was surprised by one finding: that the skin cancer rate among the twins was found to be higher than it is in the general population.

"This study, with an 8 percent skin cancer rate in twins, seems high when the general population has an incidence of less than 0.5 percent. This in of itself would merit further examination to look at other [potential risk] factors, such as prenatal x-rays, prenatal sonograms and low birth weights," he noted.

Martires's team hopes people will use the findings from this study to change their own behaviors and prevent excessive skin damage from controllable environmental factors.

"The Twins Days Festival provides a rare opportunity to study a large number of twin pairs to control for genetic susceptibility," the authors wrote. "The relationships found between smoking, weight, sunscreen use, skin cancer and photodamage in these twin pairs may help to motivate the reduction of risky behaviors."

SOURCES: Jeffrey Salomon, M.D., assistant clinical professor, plastic surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Jonette Keri, M.D., assistant professor, dermatology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; December 2009 Archives of Dermatology Published on: December 22, 2009