Health Risks May Be Tied To How Tall You Are

Blood clots, cancer, heart risk related to height …

(JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN) How tall you are might hold clues to your risk of various health problems.

Height could be a contributing factor to various health risks. PHOTO: Ze’ev Barkan, CC

Height can be an independent predictor of your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, also known as blood clots, according to the study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

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That blood clot risk was lowest among the shortest women and men and appeared to increase with height, the research showed.

“Height is not something we can do anything about,” lead study author Dr. Bengt Zöller, associate professor at Lund University and Malmö University Hospital in Sweden, said in a news release.

“However, the height in the population has increased, and continues increasing, which could be contributing to the fact that the incidence of thrombosis has increased,” he said. “I think we should start to include height in risk assessment just as overweight, although formal studies are needed to determine exactly how height interacts with inherited blood disorders and other conditions.”In the United States, blood clots are thought to kill about 60,000 to 100,000 people annually, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Across Europe, there are an estimated 500,000 deaths related to blood clots each year, according to a 2014 review paper in the journal Thrombosis Research.

The risk of blood clots isn’t the only health concern that has been tied to height: Cancer, heart problems, gestational diabetes and even longevity have been linked with stature.

‘Body size in general is an important factor’

The new blood clot study involved data on more than 1.6 million Swedish men who enlisted in the military and were born between 1951 and 1992, and data on more than 1 million Swedish women who had a first pregnancy between 1982 and 2012. Pregnancy can increase the risk of blood clots, which is among the leading causes of maternal death in the developed world. READ FULL STORY AT CNN. 

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