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Overweight Children More Likely to Develop Liver Disease

Update Date: Jan 09, 2015 04:54 AM EST

Overweight children are more likely to develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease during their teen years, new research suggests.

The latest study looked at links between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease diagnosed during adolescence and earlier life trajectories of anthropometry in a population-based sample of 1,170 adolescents aged 17 years.

The findings revealed that 15.2 percent of teens in the study were diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Researchers said that there were significant links between 17-year-olds with and without nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Study results revealed links between greater adiposity trajectories for weight, body mass index, skinfold thickness, mid-arm circumference, and chest circumference from age three and onward with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease diagnosis and severity of hepatic steatosis at age 17 years. Researchers noted that this was particularly true in males.

"Trajectories of childhood adiposity are associated with NAFLD," study authors wrote in the study. "Exploration of clinically relevant risk factors and preventative measures for NAFLD should begin during childhood."

The findings are published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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