Twins Shed Light on Aging Breasts

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With breast augmentation and breast lift procedures in the top five most popular cosmetic surgeries for women in 2011, it’s clear that women want good-looking breasts. A new study involving identical twin sisters: “Determinants of Breast Appearance and Aging in Twins,” in the September issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, may shed some light for the many women interested in maintaining youthful-looking breasts.

 “Breast appearance is incredibly important for women. This study is significant because it clearly shows women what they can do right now to help slow the aging process and keep their breasts looking attractive, even without surgical intervention,” said Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland found that breastfeeding, moisturizing daily and hormone replacement therapy significantly decelerate the aging of breasts, while smoking, drinking, multiple pregnancies, high body mass index, and larger bra and cup sizes accelerate breast aging.

For the study, 161 pairs of identical female twins were recruited from the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, OH. During the study, medical photographs of the women’s breasts were reviewed blindly and analyzed against the women’s medical and personal histories to determine the effects of external factors on the appearance of their breasts. The results revealed that twins who moisturized their breasts daily had less wrinkles than their twins, those who underwent hormone replacement therapy after menopause had better breasts, and those who breastfed had better skin quality but less-attractive shape. Unattractive breast ratings were associated with twins who had larger breasts, higher BMI, more pregnancies and smoking and drinking tendencies.

“There appears to be several external factors that affect breast aging and appearance. The good news is that many of these factors can be controlled,” said lead author Hooman T. Soltanian, MD, of University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. “Identical twin studies like this one are very valuable because they allow us to control for genetic influences. This allows us to more accurately assess the impact of external factors on breast aesthetics, such as environmental and lifestyle factors.”

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