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Teenage Acne, Heart Disease and Prostate Cancer

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  • Teenage Acne, Heart Disease and Prostate Cancer

    Teen acne may protect against heart disease

    18:22 17 June 2005
    NewScientist.com news service
    Gaia Vince


    Teenage boys who suffer from acne may be less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease in later life than their clear skinned peers. Sufferers of the confidence-denting skin condition are one-third less likely to die from coronary heart disease, according to a UK study of 10,000 men.

    The researchers believe that the androgens responsible for bringing on acne may have a protective effect on the heart.

    Bruna Galobardes, from the department of social medicine at the University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues looked at health data relating to students who attended Glasgow University between 1948 and 1968. The young adults who reported they had or were suffering from acne were 33% less likely to die from coronary heart disease.

    “We found that those who had acne were also less likely to smoke, but even when we ruled out this and other factors, we found a very strong correlation between acne in youth and coronary protection later in life,” Galobardes says.

    “It is possible that higher androgen levels or higher androgen activity may be linked to lower lipid levels or somehow affect the processes involved in creating arterial plaques,” she adds.

    On the negative side, Galobardes told New Scientist that the ”results showed a 70% increase in prostate cancer risk, but the results are not statistically conclusive and so chance cannot be ruled out. However, I would say that there may be an increased tendency towards prostate cancer”.

    Journal reference: American Journal of Epidemiology (vol 161, p 1094)

  • #2
    Who THINKS UP these things?! ...i mean, seriously!

    Someone out there had to think, "Oh!... maybe there is a connection between acne and heart disease... let's apply for grant money to find out!"

    I shouldn't poke fun, perhaps, but truly.... what am i going to do with this marvelous knowledge? Turn back time and get acne? Convince teenagers to do everything they can to induce acne for their own sakes?

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    • #3
      I totally agree that there is surely a better way to spend money for scientific research. I think this is supposed to be a moral booster for those people who do suffer from extreme acne, that their facial blemishes may cause them anxiety and embarassment in their younger years but because of it they will be fit as a fiddle in their golden years while their classmates are dying of heart disease and cancer. Strangely reassurring, I guess. But I do think it is quite interesting how hormones which bring about acne during puberty may have a positive effect on your heart and your ability to avoid certain cancers.

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      • #4
        I think you'd be hard pressed to find a teenager who really cares. i think most of them would rather die young if given the choice between that and a lot of acne.

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        • #5
          [i]I agree with Holly here.. and I am not convienced that there is a connection, but in saying that, stranger things have been proven accurate.

          But what of the Teenagers whom don't experiance Ance? I know that my Nephew has it now.. big time, but his Sister never had a problem with it?

          There are more cases of Acne in boys, I think, then there are with girls. At least from my experiances.. But I do believe I read somewhere a while ago that Heart Diease attached Men more then women.. hummmm I'll have to see if I can find something on that.. Anyway..

          I think they should be spending funds on finding a way to release the already found "cure" for cancer.. dont you think? lol. but then again this statement is better suited for the Political section

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          • #6
            It's not like these guys are just goofing off!

            Studies like these are vital to modern medicine. Perhaps the mechanism of the androgen levels to reduce plaque build-up can be replicated with some new, simple pharmaceutical and we can prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

            Or consider if some anti-depressent found effective for teenagers turns out to have an effect on androgen levels, and because of these studies, we know it may look safe at first, but increase the risk of heart attack later in life dramatically...stopping the production of the medication could save thousands of lives.

            The exciting thing about research is that you don't know what you'll find. You just have to keep looking! The pennicillin discovered by Flemming was an accident, and considered unstable and probably useless at first. Scientists couldn't make enough of it to cure a single sick mouse for over ten years!

            Oh! Silly me. Just realized you guys were probably thinking that first they had tested for a connection between left-handedness and cataracts, then between having red as a favorite colour and cancer...etc. But I'd be surprised if this study actually intended to find a link between acne and heart disease. There were probably dozens of possible factors and diseases that were being examined. It's not too surprising that they would ask about acne...how else can you objectively discover something about an 18-yr old's relative hormone levels?

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            • #7
              Acne is more common in boys than girls because it is linked to the levels of testosterone in the body. People with higher testosterone levels tend to suffer more from acne. It's a common myth that only boys have testosterone in their systems, however this is not true as the hormone is present in girls during puberty too.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by keltic_bhoy
                Acne is more common in boys than girls because it is linked to the levels of testosterone in the body. People with higher testosterone levels tend to suffer more from acne. It's a common myth that only boys have testosterone in their systems, however this is not true as the hormone is present in girls during puberty too.
                so if we see a girl with really bad Acne, it might not be a girl? hehehee.. joking..

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