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Aug 18

How your height affects your health – 9Coach (blog)

Whether youre tall or short in stature, your height can have more impact on your life than your ability to find jeans that fit.

While no perfect height has been linked to perfect health, science has unearthed a whole host of ways your stature could impact your health. Heres the long and short (or rather, the high and low) of it:

It stands to reason that blood must be pumped further around the bodies of our long-legged friends (i.e. those taller than 160cm), but a 2011 study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology showed that their extra height could reduce blood flow, tripling their risk of stroke-causing blood clots.

While there arent a lot of options for altering your height outside of ditching the high heels, keeping your weight in check can help: the study also showed those with a normal body weight suffered no increased risk of blood clot, irrespective of their height.

By the same token, a 2008 review of more than 50 studies involving over three million men and women showed that the short of stature (i.e. those standing below 160.5cm) had a significantly greater risk of developing heart disease or dying of a heart attack than tall people.

"It would be interesting to explore the possibility that short stature is connected with the risk of [coronary heart disease] and [heart attack] through the effect of smaller coronary artery diameter, and that smaller coronary arteries may be occluded earlier in life under similar risk conditions," the authors wrote.

Human growth hormone is (hGH) is responsible for many of the changes our bodies see during childhood, adolescence and into adulthood, but a 2014 study out of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that it could actually be better for longevity when it appears in low doses.

Though the off-label use of hGH has spawned a multi-billion-dollar industry, there has been no proof that hGH actually improves overall health or longevity in older adults, the research team said in a media release.

In fact, they found that female nonagenarians with lower-than-average levels of one particular growth hormone produced from middle age far outlasted their peers, especially if they had a history of cancer.

More than 340,000 Australians are currently living with dementia, with that number expected to rise to almost half a million in the next decade. And, if recent research is to be believed, the short in stature could be at risk of making up the majority of that number.

Known risk factors for Alzheimers disease include include family history and age, but a 2007 study published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease showed the risk for developing the disease increased as height decreased, with risk for men standing under 169.5cm increasing by almost 60 percent.

Type 2 diabetes is almost certainly linked to body weight, but some research suggests type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes) could be linked to height.

While the cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, a hotly debated 2002 study published in Pediatrics observed "Taller children generally seem to experience increased risk for development of diabetes mellitus type 1, except perhaps during infancy or early adolescence".

But on the other hand, mothers-to-be who stand shorter than 158cm are 59 percent more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those over 170cm, according to a 2014 study that canvassed more than 220,000 pregnancies, though researchers arent entirely sure why.

RELATED:Forget body mass index waist-to-height ratio is better at gauging your body fat

Originally posted here:
How your height affects your health - 9Coach (blog)

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