Overweight adolescents have increased risk of liver disease
A 40-year study of 45,000 men has shown that BMI in late adolescence predicts the development of liver disease in later life. The study was performed in Sweden and was conducted in order to improve prevention programs for liver disease, by increasing our ability to predict it. The researchers noticed that whilst there has been an increase in the global prevalence of obesity, there has also been a rise in the prevalence of liver disease. It is known that the two are linked, therefore they are hoping to reduce the impact of complications caused by obesity, by improving our understanding of how to predict them.
The study took place over 40 years and included 45,000 Swedish conscripts, of which only 1% were lost to follow-up. Overall, it was shown that there was a 64% increased risk in men who were overweight in late adolescence compared to those who were a normal weight. The researchers hypothesise that this may be due to the fact that those who developed liver disease were exposed to overweight and obesity for an increased period of time. The authors of the study are hoping to further this research in the future, by gaining an understanding of the type and magnitude of risk for liver disease that overweight carries.