12 May 2023

Why some women age faster than others

Novosibirsk geneticists have found that 15% of women are programmed to age earlier than their peers. Our DNA cells are to blame. "Week" found out from experts what else you can learn about yourself thanks to your genes and how to prevent possible trouble.

According to Inna Kholyandra, medical advisor at the National Center for Genetic Research in Novosibirsk, 28.9% of women in Russia are predisposed to the development of collagen structure disorders. "This is the main protein of our skin and other connective tissue, including bones, cartilage, ligaments, etc. It can be compared to the strong reinforcement on which a building is held together - collagen also forms the basis of the skin, giving it structure and ensuring its strength," explains the geneticist.

Its deficiencies are manifested by the premature appearance of signs of aging, predisposition to osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures. 49.9% of Russians are predisposed to impaired structure of the second major skin protein, elastin. Inna Holandra explains, "Elastin allows our tissues to change shape, stretch and then return to their original state. So if there's something wrong with it, it reduces the elasticity of the skin, which also makes it worse and leads to early signs of aging." It also means an increased risk of damage to the walls of blood vessels, stretch marks, and prolapse of internal organs.

When asked about the historical background of mutations in the genes of Russians, Inna reacts negatively, dismisses accusations against the Tatar-Mongols. "I would not say that it is their trait. We do not have any reliable data that these genetic disorders come from this side. Moreover, according to statistics, this variant of damage to an important protein is found not only in Russia, but also in Europe and the United States. And just in Asia, it is less common. According to the geneticist, this is a kind of "Russian roulette" - some will get it, some will not. "In evolutionary terms, it's not a vital trait. Nature tries to remove severe diseases that seriously affect life expectancy. And appearance comes last. That's why this variant with collagen and elastin structure abnormalities has spread in our population," she explains.
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