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Skeletal Composition of Face Changes With Age

Facial skeleton undergoes morphologic change with age; women earlier than men

MONDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The skeletal morphology of the face changes with age, which may contribute to the appearance of the aging face, according to a study published in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Robert B. Shaw Jr., M.D., from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues examined facial bone computed tomographic scans from 60 female and 60 male Caucasian patients to demonstrate how the facial skeleton changes with age and to assess the impact of these structural changes on overall facial aesthetics. The subjects were divided into categories based on age and the scans all underwent three-dimensional reconstruction with volume rendering.

The researchers found that the orbital aperture width and area both showed significant increase with age in both male and female subjects. The glabellar and maxillary angles decreased significantly with age in both sexes and the pyriform aperture area increased for men and women. They also noted that mandibular length and height decreased significantly with age in both sexes; although, the mandibular angle increased with age in both males and females. Statistically significant changes in bone morphology tended to occur among women at a younger age than men.

"The bony components of the face are important for overall facial three-dimensional contour, as they provide the framework on which the soft-tissue envelope drapes. If this framework experiences a morphologic change with age, the overlying soft tissues will subsequently project differently," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the biotech company Porex Surgical.

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