Heavy drinking and smoking can age you faster

People who indulge in heavy drinking and smoking may have visible signs of physical ageing, and look older than they are, a study has warned.

The findings are based on a study that followed more than 11,500 adults since 1976.

Men and women who drank 28 or more drinks were more likely to develop physical signs of ageing as compared to others. Similarly, smoking one pack of 20 cigarettes daily was associated with a 41 per cent heightened risk among women and a 12 per cent heightened risk among men.

In the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, participants were quizzed about their lifestyle and general health and asked to state how much they drank and smoked. The Danish people were checked for four signs of ageing that have previously been linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular ill health and/or death. The four signs were: earlobe creases, a grayish opaque coloured ring, yellow-orange plaques on the eyelids (saintliest), and male pattern baldness (receding hairline or a bald patch on the top of the head).

Arcs cornea was the most common sign of ageing among both sexes, with a prevalence of 60 per cent among men over 70 and among women over 80. The least common sign was xanthelasmata, with a prevalence of five per cent among men and women over 50.

A receding hairline was common among men, with 80 per cent of those over the age of 40 affected.