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Exp Gerontol. 2007 Mar;42(3):160-5. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

Cigarette smoke--an aging accelerator?

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Vascular Biology Group, Division Experimental Pathophysiology and Immunology, Biocenter, Innsbruck Medical University, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


Cigarette smoking reduces life span by an average of 7 years, and tobacco consumption accounts for a shortening of disease free life by 14 years. The exact mechanisms by which smoking causes disease and death are generally not well understood, but evidence continues to mount that cigarette smoking exhausts cellular defense and repair functions, leading to an accumulation of damage e.g. mutations and malfunctioning proteins. In this review, we make an attempt to ascribe many of the deleterious effects of smoking on human health to a general principle, namely the acceleration of aging processes by cigarette smoke chemicals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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