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  1. ITV Report

Overweight male teenagers 'more likely to develop liver cancer'

File photo of an overweight man eating. Credit: PA

Men who are overweight in their late teens have a higher risk of developing liver cancer in later life, new research suggests.

They are also more likely to develop other severe liver disease, according to the study.

The analysis, led by Dr Hannes Hagstrom, of the Centre for Digestive Diseases at the Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden, found overweight men were nearly 50% more likely - and obese men more than twice as likely - to develop liver disease in later life than men of normal weight.

File photo of teenagers and children participating in an aerobics class. Credit: PA

Experts examined data from more than 1.2 million Swedish men enlisted for conscription between 1969 and 1996, and published their findings in the journal Gut.

The researchers performed statistical analysis to assess whether having a high body mass index (BMI) aged 17 to 19 - when the men signed up to military service - was linked to an increase risk of disease.

"The risk of severe liver disease was highly affected by a diagnosis of T2DM (type 2 diabetes) during follow-up, across all BMI categories," the authors said.

"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."