Firstly, having a mother who smoked when she was pregnant with you will affect your lungs in a negative way; secondly, if your birth happened to be during the harsh winter season. And thirdly, if you experienced a severe respiratory infection at a very young age, the study said.

People who have been exposed to these factors have a faster decline in lung function, which practically means a faster ageing process.

However, this only becomes apparent if they themselves start smoking or if other risk factors have been a part of their early life, explained the researchers.

The study, published in the journal PlosONE, focused on people aged between 40 and 70 years to find out if conditions in early life also affect the lungs' ageing.


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