Studies reveal health risks tied to your height

Your height could play a role in the health issues you develop, according to studies.

How height affects your health

Across dozens of studies, scientists have discovered that a person’s height could indicate what chances they have of developing certain medical conditions.

While the science does appear to be there, it is not fully understood why being tall or short would alter people’s cells in such a way that they were more likely to have heart disease, diabetes or a raft of other illnesses.

There is no doubt that it is frustrating for people who do all the right things and still become diseased. They may wonder why someone else who neglects their health ends up being less plagued by illness.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if the mystery could be solved by understanding whether height really does predict your state of health as you age?

According to medical site WebMD, a study of 100,000 women in Europe and North America revealed that shorter women were less likely to contract ovarian cancer.

And a study of 9000 British men aged between 50 and 69 found that shorter men had a lower chance of getting prostate cancer.

Here is a round up of what other research has found can be related to height:

If you’re tall, you …

  • are more likely to form blood clots in your veins
  • could have an increased risk of breast cancer
  • have less chance of succumbing to type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • have a higher chance of lower back pain and breaking a hip.


If you’re short, you …

  • are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s
  • have a better chance of living longer
  • may be more susceptible to osteoporosis
  • are probably less prone to disease as you age.

While the medical profession cannot explain how your height could determine whether you stay healthy or not, some of the theories make sense. For instance, taller people have a higher centre of gravity, meaning they might be more prone to falling when they are older and suffer from a broken hip.

Another belief is that poor nutrition as a child could stunt someone’s growth. Then, not only are they shorter than average, but perhaps their less-than-optimal early diet exposed them to more infections, which in turn may have damaged their internal organs.

Some deeper research, however, has found genetic links between stature and lifespans. A 2006 study into longevity discovered biological markers which it claimed determined a longer life. In most of the shorter women studied, the scientists identified an insulin-like growth factor that was related to a gene named IGF-1. They believed having this biological marker led to the prolonged lifespans of those women.

Do you know anyone whose stature links in with some of the medical conditions mentioned here? Are you satisfied with how tall you are? Do you believe a poor diet in childhood may have affected your health later in life?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    18th Apr 2019
    I´m 163 cm tall, am I tall or short accordingly to the research?
    18th Apr 2019
    Correction: I´m am a woman 163 cm I short or tall, accordingly to the research?
    18th Apr 2019
    That is my question too. What is tall and short. I am female 174 cMs and shrinking.
    18th Apr 2019
    What a delightful range of choices we shorties and/or tallies have as we get older! None of them sound particularly appealing! Can't we just opt out of all of them?
    18th Apr 2019
    I am about 4ft 10ins on the old scale. yep I don't have as far to fall as a taller person. LOL. I actually agree with what the article says. Not sure about the breast cancer thing. I don't think height is an issue with cancer in general. Lifestyle and genes plays a big role in cancers, especially genes with breast cancer.
    18th Apr 2019
    What a load of garbage!
    Environment and heredity are factors for some of the future health of humans, not height!
    People will tell you anything to make themselves interesting.
    And of course, as some of you say…"what is short and what is tall?": considering origins and other factors, these are great variables that indicate only your familiar origins and inherited traits.
    Also the way you treated your body through the years and your DNA are factors.
    4th May 2019
    Agree Alexia......medical/clinical researchers need to publish a "finding" (no matter how ridiculous it seems) annually so they can continue to still receive their annual research allowances!? Just a very simple & most contradictory example is yr they're great & can enjoy 'em daily, next yr nup (full of cholesterol) & just this wk.....all good, they're full of vitamin D. I know how "it" works," spent many yrs working in Research Depts - both medical & scientific.
    18th Apr 2019
    Are changes in risk factors as we age a result of ageing or our height decreasing? Or something else?
    pedro the swift
    19th Apr 2019
    never mind the height, what about the width?

    Tags: health, height, age

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