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How does smoking affect our age?
Smoking accelerates the aging process. Experts have now found that smokers in their twenties are actually biologically two decades older than they should be.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen, the University of Oxford and Insilico Medicine found in their current study that smoking accelerates the aging process. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Scientific Reports".
What results could the scientists find?
The human body has two different ages, a chronological and a biological one. The latter relates to how old a person appears. In their study, the experts analyzed the blood samples from tens of thousands of volunteers to determine how smoking can affect biological aging. It turned out that smokers were often twice their biological age. The majority of smokers under the age of 30 were actually between 31 and 40 years of age, or in some cases between 41 and 50 years of age. The same trend was observed for 31- to 40-year-olds, where the age of almost half of the smokers was predicted to be 41 to 50 years. Older smokers showed no such effects, possibly because the most affected had already died, the researchers say. The results were obtained from the blood profiles of 149,000 adults, 33 percent (49,000) of whom were smokers.
What was examined?
The researchers combined an age prediction model using a technique known as deep learning and various biochemical markers from the participants. These included, for example, blood sugar levels, iron stores and urea, a waste product that is excreted in the urine.
Biological age affects life expectancy
Compared to non-smokers, regardless of gender, smokers showed an accelerated aging rate up to the age of 55, explains the study author Dr. Polina Mamoshina from the University of Oxford. Previous research has shown that biological age is more useful than using a birth date to predict when a person will die.
How many people are smokers?
There are an estimated 9.4 million smokers in the UK alone. Smoking is the leading cause of death and disease in the UK and more than 120,000 people die each year as a result. Smoking is responsible for around one fifth of deaths in the UK. According to the Epidemiological Addiction Survey in 2015, around 29 percent of adults in Germany were smokers, which corresponds to around 20 million people. (as)