Obese teenagers more at risk of liver disease

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London, March 21 (IANS) Male teenagers who are obese could run a higher risk of developing severe liver disease or liver cancer in the later stages of their life, say researchers.

The findings, led by researchers at the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, showed that obese men were more than twice as likely to develop liver disease in later life than men with normal weight.

A high body mass index (BMI) is also associated with increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, which is, in turn, linked to a higher risk of severe liver disease.

Men with obesity and Type 2 diabetes were more than three times more likely to have liver problems when they were older compared with non-diabetic and normal weighing men, the researchers said.

“This could have implications for public health decision making, strengthening the need of targeted intervention against overweight and obesity at an early age and specifically highlights the risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus as a risk factor for liver disease,” said Hannes Hagstrom from the Karolinska University Hospital.

Overweight and obesity levels are increasing globally and around 1 billion people are now projected to be obese (defined as having a BMI higher than 30 kg/m2) by 2030, the research published in the journal Gut noted.

“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,” Hagstrom said.

–IANS

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