Being tall has numerous advantages, but it also has some disadvantages, according to recent research.
While heart disease and cancer have been related to height in the past, researchers haven’t been able to isolate elements like nutrition and socioeconomic position, both of which can alter a person’s height, from the equation until now. The current study accomplishes this by exposing certain health issues that are more likely to affect those who live longer lives.
The findings, which were published in the journal PLOS Genetics, were based on comparing a person’s genetically predicted height to their actual height to determine how they relate to various diseases and health conditions. The researchers got the data they required from the VA Million Veteran Program, which gave them access to over 250,000 people’s health and genetic information.
According to IFL Science, genetically-predicted height has been linked to health conditions such as atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), lumpy blood vessels (varicose veins), and peripheral neuropathy – a type of nerve damage that causes weakness, loss of sensation, and pain in the limbs that hasn’t previously been linked to height. Skin and bone infections, including ulcers, were shown to be more common in tall people.
However, it turns out that being tall isn’t all bad. It was also linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and coronary heart disease, according to the study.
The study is the largest of its kind to look into the link between height and disease. Despite the fact that the sample comprised an unbalanced percentage of black (50,000) and white (200,000) participants, the analyses encompassed over 1,000 conditions. Overall, the data show that being tall may be a risk factor for certain human health issues and diseases that have hitherto gone unnoticed.
“We discovered proof that adult height may influence over 100 clinical traits, including many conditions associated with poor outcomes and quality of life – peripheral neuropathy, lower extremity ulcers, and chronic venous insufficiency,” said study lead Sridharan Raghavan of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in the United States in a statement.
“We suggest that height may be an underappreciated, non-modifiable risk factor for a number of common adult diseases.”