(HealthDay News) — Aside from aging, there are other risk factors, including genetic variants, that are associated with eyelid sagging, according to a study published online May 28 in JAMA Dermatology.

Leonie C. Jacobs, MD, from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated two independent population cohorts (the Rotterdam Study [5,578] and the U.K. Adult Twin Registry [2,186]) to grade upper eyelid sagging using digital photographs.

The researchers found that 17.8% of participants in the Rotterdam Study showed moderate and severe sagging eyelids (dermatochalasis). Age, male sex, lighter skin color, and higher body mass index were significant, independent risk factors for sagging. Current smoking had a borderline, significant association. Among 1,052 twin pairs, heritability of sagging eyelids was estimated to be 61%. In a meta-analysis, there was a genome-wide, significant recessive protective effect of the C allele of rs11876749 (P=1.7 × 10−8), a variant located close to TGIF1, which is a known gene associated with skin aging.

“This is the first observational study to date demonstrating that other risk factors (male sex, genetic variants, lighter skin color, high body mass index, and possibly current smoking) in addition to aging are involved in the origin of sagging eyelids,” the authors write.

Full Text