Identical Twin Study Reveals New Information
In an independent blind study of 161 pairs of identical twin sisters, investigators from University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland found there are external factors that affect breast aging and appearance. Dr. Robert T. Grant, a board certified plastic surgeon in New York City says the study primarily focused on the factors that age a woman’s breasts, but he says, this study helps us learn about the aging process in other areas as well.
The findings in this study show what women can do now to have better looking breasts. The study also details what accelerates the aging process. For the study, breast features were rated subjectively using medical photographs taken of the women’s breasts. The ratings were analyzed along with data on the women’s medical and personal histories to determine the significance of external factors.
Attractive breast ratings were associated with:
- Twins who moisturized their breasts daily
- Those who received hormone replacement therapy after menopause
- Those who breastfed
Unattractive breast ratings were associated with:
- Weight gain
- Greater number of pregnancies
- Larger breast cup sizes
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol consumption
“It’s really no surprise that the patients whose weight fluctuated up and down and the patients who had more pregnancies, had breasts that appeared to be less attractive than breasts that had not gone through all of those particular changes. Interestingly enough, the women who breastfed had a better appearance to their breasts,” says Grant. The study shows the women who breastfed had less attractive areolar size and shape, but better skin quality.
“Women are going to continue to want to have children and raise families and their bodies are going to change as they age. This information from the study helps us explain to patients the consequences of lifestyle choices so they can anticipate, prepare for and be made aware,” says Grant.
Genetics or Lifestyle?
“We all have a genetic basis that we’re not going to change; we learn to accept that and that’s who we are, but I think our choices have a bigger impact on how we age and now we have the scientific evidence to back up.”
The full results of the study, “Determinants of Breast Appearance and Aging in Twins,” appear in the September 2012 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.