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Are Height and Heart Disease Risk Related?

Posted Jun 19 2010 4:00am

An analysis of 52 studies and over 3 million participants by French researchers revealed short adults were 1 ½ times more likely to develop and ultimately die from heart disease than were tall adults.  This held true for both men and women and across all ethnic groups.  Men under 5 feet 4 inches and women under 5 feet were considered short and men over 5 feet 8 inches and women over 5 feet 4 inches were considered tall.

 At this point, there isn’t an explanation as to why this is true. A couple of theories include shorter people have smaller coronary arteries which may become blocked earlier in life or the shorter stature may be due to poor nutrition causing decreased growth earlier in life.

 Remember though, height may only be one uncontrollable risk factor for heart disease.  There are many risk factors that can be controlled such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, smoking, etc.  So do not concentrate on the things you cannot change, but get out there and work on the risk factors you can improve upon! For ways to help prevent heart disease and learn your modifiable risk factors visit

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