8 June 2011
Liver damaged more by weight than booze
by George Atkinson
Overweight carries a greatly increased risk of cirrhosis of the liver in men, according to a new study by researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden.
The researchers studied the link between overweight in men aged 50 and the risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver. The findings appear in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
None of the men had liver problems at the beginning of the study but during the decades-long follow-up period almost 2 percent were diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. All of the men with this diagnosis were overweight at the beginning of the study. The researchers said that both BMI and raised levels of blood fats constituted risk factors for the development of cirrhosis of the liver. However, the same link could not be statistically proven for alcohol.
"Given the increasing problem of overweight, there is reason to fear that more people will [also] develop cirrhosis of the liver," concluded researcher Jerzy Kaczynski.
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Source: University of Gothenburg