Men who had strong muscles as teens are more likely to live longer than their weaker cohorts, according to a recently released Swedish study.
A group of researchers tracked more than one million Swedish male adolescents for a 24-year period, finding that the weaker men tended to die earlier. Even if the men became overweight as adults, as long as they were measured to be strong in their teenage years, their future was brighter.
All of the men in the study were army conscripts, and strength was measured by grip, leg curls and arm push-ups.
"Low muscular strength in adolescents is an emerging risk factor for major causes of death in young adulthood, such as suicide and cardiovascular diseases," the authors wrote in the abstract to their study, which was published in BMJ.
More than 26,000 men died during the study (about 2.3 percent of the total), with accidental injury being the leading cause. According to the Daily Mail, teenagers who scored "above average" on muscular strength at the start of the study were 20 to 35 percent less likely to die from causes like cancer, heart disease or a stroke.
Meanwhile, the study reports that the 16- to 19-year-olds with the lowest measured muscular strength had the highest risk of dying before reaching their middle ages.
Researchers emphasize that no causation was determined and building muscle as a teen does not guarantee a man will live longer.