-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Teen boys with a condition
that causes them to have enlarged breasts suffer reduced
self-esteem and other mental and emotional health problems,
according to a new study.
Researchers conducted a series of psychological tests on 47
boys, with an average age of 16, who were undergoing evaluation for
the condition, called gynecomastia. The same tests were given to a
control group of boys without the disorder.
Among the boys with gynecomastia, 62 percent had mild to
moderate breast enlargement and 64 percent were overweight or
obese, compared with 41 percent of those in the control group.
Compared to those in the control group, the boys with
gynecomastia had lower scores for general health, social
functioning, mental health and self-esteem. This was true even for
boys with mild gynecomastia, according to the study, which was
published in the April issue of the journal
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The findings show the need for early intervention and treatment,
study author Dr. Brian Labow and colleagues at Boston Children's
Hospital said in a journal news release. In certain cases,
breast-reduction surgery may be an appropriate treatment, they
The researchers added that further research is needed to
evaluate the physical and mental health effects of breast-reduction
surgery on teens with gynecomastia.
Breast enlargement is common in adolescent boys and resolves
over time in most cases. The problems persist in about 8 percent of
boys, however, the researchers said.
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