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February 24, 1962

Etiological Factors and Premature Aging

Author Affiliations

Houston, Tex.

JAMA. 1962;179(8):630-636. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050080042009

AGING IS an interesting subject which is receiving increasing attention in many fields. There is an ever-enlarging body of information which indicates that many of the phenomena which were previously regarded as "natural" processes resulting from old age are actually due to specific disease processes. The changes occurring with arteriosclerosis are prime examples. Factors contributing to aging and premature aging of the skin have not received adequate attention. There is now considerable evidence that sunlight is responsible for most of the visible degenerative changes that occur with the passage of time.

The laxity and folding of the skin resulting from weight loss should not be confused with aging of the skin, although these occur most frequently in elderly, debilitated people. In Simmond's disease and in Werner's and related syndromes, patients may appear to be prematurely aged and the skin is found to be atrophie; but few studies of the skin

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