June 08, 2010
More Heart Disease In Short People

Short people come up short on life expectancy in a meta-analysis of studies.

Short people are at greater risk of developing heart disease than tall people, according to the first systematic review and meta-analysis of all the available evidence, which is published online today (Wednesday 9 June) in the European Heart Journal [1].

The systematic review and meta-analysis, carried out by Finnish researchers, looked at evidence from 52 studies of over three million people and found that short adults were approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop cardiovascular heart disease and die from it than were tall people. This appeared to be true for both men and women.

My guess is the various causes of shortness (malnutrition, genetic limits on height, genetically caused diseases, toxin exposure during development, and other causes) play a big role in determining whether a short person is at increased risk. Genetic causes of shortness that do not involve diseases might not cause shorter life expectancies, or at least not to the extent that other causes of shortness do.

The 165.4 cm max for short men is 65.1 inches or 5 foot, 5 inches. The 153 cm max for short women is 60.2 inches or 5 feet tall.

From the total of 1,900 papers, the researchers selected 52 that fulfilled all their criteria for inclusion in their study. These included a total of 3,012,747 patients. On average short people were below 160.5 cms high and tall people were over 173.9 cms. When men and women were considered separately, on average short men were below 165.4 cms and short women below 153 cms, while tall men were over 177.5 cms and tall women over 166.4 cms.

Dr Paajanen and her colleagues found that compared to those in the tallest group, the people in the shortest group were nearly 1.5 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary heart disease (CHD), or to live with the symptoms of CVD or CHD, or to suffer a heart attack, compared with the tallest people.

Looking at men and women separately, short men were 37% more likely to die from any cause compared with tall men, and short women were 55% more likely to die from any cause compared with their taller counterparts.

I hear Randy Newman singing.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 June 08 09:56 PM  Aging Studies

Lou Pagnucco said at June 9, 2010 8:47 AM:

A google search comes up with many studies contradicting the above.

For example -





Early chronic stresses and disease which reduce stature may be confounding factors.

Dr. Sarah said at June 9, 2010 9:27 AM:

Short stature is also a hallmark sign/symptom of celiac disease. Having celiac disease increases your risk of heart disease by some 62% or thereabouts. Recent stats suggest that measurable celiac disease happens in 1 out of every 133 people. Gotta give up the grains and processed food people!

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