Men with Enlarged Breast Tissue May Face Increased Risk of Early Death, Study Suggests

Study finds “Men with Enlarged Breast Tissue May Face Increased Risk of Early Death” For many men, enlarged breast tissue, often referred to as “gynecomastia,” can be a source of physical and emotional discomfort. However, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal sheds light on a more serious potential consequence – an increased risk of early death.

This Danish study, conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, followed over 35,000 men for more than 30 years, carefully tracking their health outcomes. Their findings raise important questions and highlight the need for further research, but also offer valuable insights for men’s health awareness.

Men with Enlarged Breast Tissue May Face Increased Risk of Early Death
Men with Enlarged Breast Tissue May Face Increased Risk of Early Death | Stock Photo

Study Design and Key Findings

The study employed an observational cohort design, meaning researchers analyzed existing data without actively intervening. They included men aged 18-75 years old, ensuring a diverse and representative sample. Gynecomastia was diagnosed based on medical records and classified as mild, moderate, or severe. The primary outcome of interest was mortality before the age of 75.

The results were striking: men with gynecomastia had a 37% higher risk of death compared to those without the condition. This increased risk held true even after adjusting for factors like age, socioeconomic status, and other health conditions.

While concerning, the study also revealed an unexpected twist. Men with neurological disorders, such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease, showed a 29% lower risk of death compared to the rest of the population. This seemingly contradictory finding requires further investigation, but researchers speculate it might be due to differences in medical care or lifestyle factors associated with these neurological conditions.

Other rare causes of gynaecomastia include:

  • Side effects of medicine – such as anti-ulcer drugs or medicine for heart disease
  • Illegal drugs – such as cannabis or anabolic steroids
  • Alcohol misuse
  • A health condition – such as kidney failure or liver disease
  • Klinefelter syndrome (a rare genetic disorder)
  • Lumps or infections in the testicles.

If you think you have the condition or you are worried about breast tissue growth – then contact your GP for treatment.

The exact reasons behind the increased mortality risk for men with gynecomastia remain unclear. However, researchers offer several potential explanations:

  • Hormonal imbalances: Gynecomastia often results from imbalances in hormones like estrogen and testosterone. These imbalances can contribute to other health problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, all known risk factors for early death.
  • Underlying health conditions: Gynecomastia can sometimes be a symptom of more serious medical conditions, such as liver disease or certain cancers. Early diagnosis and treatment of these underlying conditions could improve overall health outcomes.
  • Lifestyle factors: Men with gynecomastia might be more likely to engage in unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or physical inactivity, which increase the risk of various health problems.

What This Means for Men’s Health

The study emphasizes the importance of men paying attention to their bodies and any unusual changes they experience. Persistent gynecomastia should not be ignored. Consulting a healthcare professional for evaluation is crucial, especially if you have other health concerns or risk factors.

Early diagnosis and treatment of gynecomastia, if necessary, can improve both physical and emotional well-being. Treatment options vary depending on the severity and potential cause, ranging from lifestyle changes and medication to surgery.

While the study highlights a potential association between gynecomastia and early death, it’s important to remember that correlation does not necessarily equal causation. More research is needed to confirm these findings and explore the underlying mechanisms. Additionally, individual risk factors and overall health status play a significant role in determining life expectancy.

Moving Forward: Call for Additional Research

This study opens up avenues for further exploration and understanding of the potential link between gynecomastia and mortality. Future research should focus on:

  • Longitudinal studies: Following a larger, more diverse cohort over a longer period could provide stronger evidence about the association and long-term health risks.
  • Investigating mechanisms: Understanding the biological pathways and hormonal interactions involved is crucial to developing preventative measures and more targeted treatments.
  • Accounting for confounding factors: Additional studies controlling for other underlying health conditions and lifestyle factors are needed to isolate the specific contribution of gynecomastia.

While the findings warrant attention, it’s crucial to avoid unnecessary anxiety. Remember, this is just one study, and individual risk varies greatly. However, it underscores the importance of men being proactive about their health and seeking medical advice for any concerns.

Maintaining Optimal Health: Practical Tips

Regardless of the presence or absence of gynecomastia, taking charge of your health is essential. Here are some practical tips for men:

  • Regular checkups: Schedule regular checkups with your doctor to discuss any concerns and monitor your overall health.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and sufficient sleep.
  • Manage stress: Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time in nature.
  • Maintain healthy weight: Aim for a healthy weight and body composition through balanced eating and regular exercise.
  • Limit harmful substances: Reduce or avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use.
  • Stay informed: Seek information about men’s health issues and stay updated on new research findings.

By Taking Proactive Steps, You Can Optimize Your Health

By taking proactive steps towards a healthy lifestyle, you can not only minimize risks associated with gynecomastia but also promote overall well-being and longevity. Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Prioritize Mental Health: Men are often less likely to seek help for mental health concerns. However, addressing stress, anxiety, and depression can significantly impact physical health. Consider seeking professional help or engaging in activities like mindfulness meditation or therapy.
  • Seek Support and Community: Building a strong support network of friends, family, or even joining men’s health groups can provide invaluable emotional and social support. Sharing experiences and concerns can foster a sense of belonging and encourage healthy behaviors.
  • Become Your Own Health Advocate: Don’t hesitate to ask questions and express concerns to your healthcare provider. Be informed about your health history, family medical conditions, and any risk factors you might have. Remember, you are an active participant in your own healthcare journey.
  • Stay Up-to-Date on Research and Developments: While this study presents valuable insights, the field of men’s health is constantly evolving. Stay informed about new research findings and treatment options by following reliable sources like medical journals, reputable health websites, or organizations dedicated to men’s health advocacy.
  • Remember, Small Changes Make a Big Difference: Don’t feel overwhelmed by the need for drastic changes. Start small by incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine, gradually building a sustainable lifestyle that promotes your well-being. Every step towards a healthier you matters!


The study linking gynecomastia to increased mortality risk serves as a reminder for men to prioritize their health and address any concerns promptly. While further research is needed to solidify the findings and understand the underlying mechanisms, the message remains clear: proactive health management is crucial for men of all ages. By adopting healthy habits, managing stress, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can take control of your health and live a longer, healthier life. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Embrace the responsibility for your well-being and empower yourself to live a fulfilling life.

Read Also | How Probiotics and Prebiotics in Fermented Foods Impact Mental Health

Note: This article is written based on scientific evidence found by the team. Sources are duly referenced with keywords hyperlinked to source websites and are clickable for reference.