Men who are overweight as teens have 50% higher chance of developing liver cancer in later life

Obese teen. PHOTO: New York Daily News

There are few – if any – health benefits to being fat.

But men who are overweight in their late teens have a distinctly higher risk of developing liver cancer in later life, a new study suggests.

Adding insult to injury, they are also more likely to suffer from other severe liver diseases – many of which are often fatal.

According to the research published Monday in the journal Gut, experts examined data from more than 1.2 million Swedish men enlisted for conscription between 1969 and 1996.

This was then linked with other health registers to assess whether these men went on to develop severe liver disease.

Specifically, they analysed whether having a high body mass index (BMI) aged 17 to 19 was linked to an increased risk later on.

Overall, there were 5,281 cases of severe liver disease including 251 cases of liver cancer during the follow up period – one year after conscription until 31 December 2012.

The researchers, led by Dr. Hannes Hagstrom of the Centre for Digestive Diseases at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, discovered that overweight men were nearly 50 per cent more likely to develop liver disease in later life.

Men who developed type 2 diabetes during the follow up period also had a higher risk, regardless of how much they weighed when they signed up to military conscription.

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BMILiver cancer
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