Height and Heart Disease

A study by the European Society of Cardiology reported short people had a fifty percent higher risk of having heart disease.  Heart problems included angina (chest pain), heart attack, and angioplasty (the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel).  

Short people were under 5 feet 3 inches and the tall ones were over 5 feet 9 inches.  This peculiar association may be due to the shorter person having narrower coronary arteries which can be occluded earlier in life.

Regular exercise can help make up for 'shortfall'.

Height though is only one factor that may contribute to heart disease.  Short people can’t control their height, but might have to be extra cautious in managing their lifestyle.  Overweight, high cholesterol, and lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking and lack of exercise, are other known heart disease risk factors, but can be controlled.

The findings suggest that the genes, rather than early-life poor nutrition or birth weight, which affect body height  may be responsible  for the increased risk of heart problems later in life.  Additionally, shorter women may pose an even higher risk  for cardiac events than shorter men.

One thought on “Height and Heart Disease

  1. Thanks for your comment, Dan. On the average, the short ones were defined to be below 161.1 cm (5’3.4″). To be specific by gender though, the study defined short men as below 165.5 cm (5’5″) and short women as below 153.3. (5’0″). I’m right in there at 5 feet!


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