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
Among the boys with gynecomastia, 62% had mild to moderate breast enlargement
and 64% were overweight or obese, compared with 41% of those in the control
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.
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 said.
The researchers added that further research is needed to evaluate the
physical and mental health effects of breast-reduction surgery on teens with
Breast enlargement is common in adolescent boys and resolves over time in
most cases. The problems persist in about 8% of boys, however, the researchers
The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has more about gynecomastia.
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