Researchers have long suspected there’s a correlation between height and the risk of coronary heart disease.
As coronary heart disease is the leading cause of premature death in the world, this news could possibly influence treatments and possibly mitigate the development of the disease for those who are deemed to be most a risk.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and conducted by the University of Leicester in England, proved that shorter people are more prone to develop coronary heart disease.
Prof. Sir Nilesh Samani, British Heart Foundation professor of cardiology at the University of Leicester, brought us these findings.
They Studied 200,000 People to Figure This Out
What they found after studying 200,000 participants is astounding.
Medical News Today writes:
The researchers looked at genetic data from almost 200,000 people with or without coronary heart disease and examined 180 genetic variants that affect height and coronary heart disease.
Prof. Samani and colleagues found that every 2.5 inch change in height affects coronary heart disease risk by 13.5%. To illustrate this, the researchers provide the example that a 5 ft person has a 32% higher risk of coronary heart disease compared with a 5 ft 6 inch person because of their smaller height.
By their estimation, 2/3 of all coronary heart disease victims acquired the disease based on their DNA.
The other 1/3 were victims because of dietary measures alone. The presence of cholesterol and fat on testing were general indicators of higher level of risk.
Samani notes their study proved that other outside factors (like socioeconomic status and nutrition) weren’t the leading cause for risk, it was the person’s very DNA.
Samani said, “The beauty about DNA is that it cannot be modified by one’s lifestyle or socioeconomic conditions. Therefore, if shorter height is directly connected with increased risk of coronary heart disease, one would expect that these variants would also be associated with coronary heart disease, and this is precisely what we found.”
The researchers theorize the reason the risk is elevated is because shorter people have narrower arteries. The narrower the arteries, the more susceptible to accumulations of plaque they are.
Essentially, the same amount of plaque that would be problematic for a short person wouldn’t be a problem for a taller person.
A fair amount of research suggests that, regardless of height, one of the leading causes for calcification of the arteries is because of deficiencies in Vitamin K-2.
Vitamin K-2 has been exploding popularity because of its ability to shuttle calcium out of the blood (where it can eventually cause arterial calcification) and into bones and teeth where it belongs.
Vitamin K-2 supplements are typically made of soy-based products, but with more research showing soy having adverse affects on hormone levels, new soy-free versions of Vitamin K-2 are being developed.
In this case, it pays to be tall.