Overweight teenage boys have increased risk of liver disease

21st Mar 17 | Lifestyle

Being overweight as a teenager can cause severe damage to the liver when you reach adulthood.

Overweight teenage boys have increased risk of liver disease

Shocking new research has found that men who were overweight as teenagers have an almost 50 per cent increased risk of developing liver disease later in life.

The Swedish study, led by Doctor Hannes Hagstrom of the Centre for Digestive Diseases at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, analysed data from more than 1.2 million Swedish men who had been enlisted for conscription between 1969 and 1996. Separate health data on the men was also analysed to determine whether having a high body mass index (BMI) aged 17 to 19 was linked to higher risk later in life or not.

Researchers reported 5,281 cases of severe liver disease including 251 cases of liver cancer during the follow up period. When results were looked into further, Dr Hagstrom and his team found that overweight teenagers were 50 per cent more likely to suffer from liver disease when they reached adulthood.

When men developed type 2 diabetes in the follow up period, one year after conscription until 31 December 2012, they also had a higher risk of liver problems, even if they weren't overweight when they were younger. And obese men with type 2 diabetes were found to be three times more at risk of developing liver problems.

"Interventions to reduce the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity should be implemented from an early age to reduce the future burden of severe liver disease on individuals and society," the study authors urged.

Results were published in journal Gut.

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