By Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 12:00 BST, 27 May 2019 | Updated: 12:01 BST, 27 May 2019
Being mildly overweight as a teenager raises the risk of heart failure in adulthood, scientists have once again found.
Scientists tracked 1.6million men for nearly five decades to examine the dangers of carrying extra weight in adolescence.
They found those who were even mildly overweight when they were 18 were more likely develop cardiomyopathy in later life.
The Swedish researchers warned the risk of the condition, which can lead to heart failure, was highest for the fattest teenagers.
The findings come amid a worldwide childhood obesity crisis, with figures showing there are 340million youngsters who are overweight or obese.
Being mildly overweight as a teenager raises the risk of heart failure in adulthood, scientists in Sweden find
Obesity is known to be a risk factor for a multitude of health problems including heart disease.
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg were looking mainly to see if teenage obesity raised the risk of cardiomyopathy.
It is the general term for diseases of the heart muscle, which can make it harder for the organ to pump blood around the body.
Men who enlisted in compulsory military service between 1969 and 2005, when they were 18 or 19 years old, were analysed.
Researchers recorded figures on their height, weight and overall fitness.
They also used two other national databases that track the causes of all deaths and hospitalisations to see if any men developed heart disease.
Among the men in the study, 4,477 were diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at an average age of 45.5.
The men who at age 18 had a body mass index (BMI) below 20 had a low risk of going on to develop cardiomyopathy.
But the risk steadily increased as weight increased, according to the findings that were published in the journal Circulation.
Men who had a BMI of 35 and over - considered obese - were eight times more likely to develop dilated cardiomyopathy as adults.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that affects its size, shape and structure.
The condition is usually inherited.
The three main types of cardiomyopathy are:Hypertrophic - heart wall is thickened Dilated - heart muscle becomes stretched and thin Arrhythmogenic right ventricular - heart muscle cells cannot be kept together
All of these types of cardiomyopathy affect the heart's ability to pump blood around the body efficiently.
They can also impact the way electrical signals make the organ beat.
There is no cure, however, in most cases people's quality or length of life is unaffected.
Therapies may include