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Elite soldiers 'growing left breasts'
Photo: DPA

Elite soldiers 'growing left breasts'

Published: 26 Jan 2013 14:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Jan 2013 14:08 GMT+01:00

The study, carried out by plastic and hand surgeons at the Bundeswehr hospital in Berlin, found that the guards were at greater risk of developing a condition called gynaecomastia, or an enlargement of the mammary gland, on the left side, the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper recently reported.

Though gynaecomastia is usually a hormonal condition, the study found that serving in the guard battalion can also be a cause, because it requires soldiers to repeatedly slam their rifles into the left side of their chest during military drills.

Of the 211 gynaecomastia patients examined, doctors found that 35 came from the battalion, which appears at official events such as state visits and the "Great Tattoo" ceremonies for outgoing German presidents.

Of these 35 soldiers, 26 showed breast growth on the left side of their chests - an unusually high proportion for any sample of gynaecomastia cases.

According to the study, led by hospital department head Professor Björn Krapohl, there was "a highly significant correlation between the activities of a guard and left-sided gynaecomastia."

Krapohl also said that the correlation had been noticed as long ago as 2009, and that he had been lobbying for the "rifle-chest-slam" to be stopped since then.

The Bundeswehr confirmed that the study results had been passed on to the Defence Ministry. "The soldiers affected are being treated medically and are receiving individual therapy," a spokesman said, before adding that more studies should be carried out.

The battalion consists of nine companies, seven of which are stationed in Berlin. It is considered one of the plum appointments in the German army.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:07 January 26, 2013 by Englishted
Bet they could fill out half a dirndl. Bavaria's low-cut traditional dress .

Or if I say that do I spark a sexism debate?

(see other headlines)
16:03 January 26, 2013 by Bigfoot76
^^ I see what you did there. :D
16:11 January 26, 2013 by Anny One again
sprayed the coffee on keyboard and screen,thanks ted
17:27 January 26, 2013 by Wrench
.............Never mind.
19:33 January 26, 2013 by twisted
Perhaps a change in the German Manual of Arms might be called for.
19:56 January 26, 2013 by realist1961
slamming them makes them bigger?
20:32 January 26, 2013 by Anny One again
Discount Mammography half price or check two,pay for one
23:45 January 26, 2013 by Lawdog20636
I¦#39;m glad everyone is having a little fun with this. It sucks to see everyone attacking each other over a difference in opinions we have on most topics. All of your comments have provided me with laughs…
03:34 January 27, 2013 by txjohn50
soldiers growing breasts...when i heard of it i naturally assumed it would be the french.
08:43 January 27, 2013 by coffeelover
So,,slamming the long rifle makes it grow?
13:55 January 27, 2013 by McM
Ah.... By the left, quick march, left right left, ....er sarg, I'm confused
07:04 January 28, 2013 by Englishted
@McM

Or ...... By the breast ,quick march,breast right,breast .......etc.
15:39 January 29, 2013 by KillaWabbit
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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