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Short Stature Associated With Higher Heart Disease Risk

Short individuals appear more likely to develop coronary heart disease than tall people

WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Being short is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality than being tall, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online June 8 in the European Heart Journal.

Tuula A. Paajanen, M.D., of the Tampere University Hospital in Finland, and colleagues reviewed 52 studies that included population-based, follow-up research; cohorts of patients that were followed after experiencing a coronary heart disease event; and case-control studies that used height as a variable. Included in the studies were 3,012,747 individuals. Tall individuals were over 173.9 cm on average, and short individuals were on average under 160.5 cm.

The researchers found that, compared with those in the tallest group, among individuals in the shortest group, the relative risk was 1.35 for all-cause mortality, 1.55 for cardiovascular disease mortality, 1.49 for coronary heart disease, and 1.52 for myocardial infarction. Being short was associated with a higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality risk among both men and women.

"The relationship between short stature and CVD appears to be a real one. On the basis of comparison, adults within the shortest category had an approximately 50 percent higher risk of CHD morbidity and mortality than tall individuals," the authors write.

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