A study conducted at the University of Leicester has proved that there is a link between height and heart diseases predisposition. Shorter people have an increased lifetime risk of heart affections.
The study analyzed the genetic data of over 200.000 people from all over the world. According to the findings if an individual is 2.5 inches taller the risk of heart disease is reduced with 13.5 %.
From the data coming from the 200.000 people the scientists analyzed 180 genetic variants. The subjects of the study were men and women. Some of them suffered from coronary heart disease and some didn’t. Coronary heart disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and it can cause heart attacks. It is the most commonly met cause of premature death all over the world, killing almost one in 10 women and one in 10 men.
Professor of cardiology, Sir Nilesh Samani, explained that individuals who are 5 feet tall have 30% increased chances of heart disease compared to persons who are 5 feet 6. Smoking is also an important factor. It increases the risk of developing heart disease by 200% to 300%.
Christopher Nelson, co-author of the study, explained:
“The more height increasing genetic variants that you carry the lower your risk of coronary heart disease. And conversely if you were genetically shorter the higher your risk.”
Heart diseases experts were taken by surprise when they found out the results of the study. However the fact there is a link between height and hard diseases was previously pointed out. In 1951 cardiologist Paul Dudley White examined 97 men and 3 women who had had a heart attack before the age of 40. It seems that they were 2 inches shorter than 146 individuals who were healthy. But the idea was not taken seriously in the past.
Ever since that discovery scientists have observed that short people are more exposed to heart diseases in every ethnic group and population variety irrespective of other factors such as diabetes, obesity, cholesterol and smoking.
Sir Nilesh Samani explained that now, since the scientists have adopted a genetic approach it was proved that the link between shorter stature and coronary heart disease is not caused by confounding factors, but it is a primary relationship.
Researchers will further study the genes involved in heart disease and height. They are hoping to find better ways of preventing heart attacks and better treatments for the future.
Image Source: Imgarcade
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