Many of people want to be taller but surprisingly, being shorter can be beneficial. A Swedish study1 finds a direct link between height and venous thromboembolism, a condition which is serious as it forms blood clots in the vein.
In this study, the researchers looked at over 2 million Swedish men and women. The participants are male soldiers whose health were tracked between the 1950s to 1990s; and women who are newly pregnant whose health were tracked between 1969 to 2010.
Height is an independent predictor of VTE. The use of sibling pairs reduces the likelihood that familial confounding explains the results. The findings are important for the understanding of the pathogenesis of VTE.
The researchers’ findings say that men who are 6 feet 2 inches or taller were 65% more at risk of developing blot clots than those who men who are shorter than 5 feet 3 inches.
In women, first-time pregnant women with a height of at least 6 feet were 69% more at risk of developing blood clots than women with height shorter than 5 feet 1 inch.
Professor Bengt Zoller of Lund University in Sweden and lead author of the study says;
Height is not something we can do anything about. 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.
How Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Forms?
In the United States, the American Heart Association says up to 600,000 individuals develop blot clots in the vein each year. The risk factors can be due to cancer, surgery, and hospitalization, or immobilization or inactivity.
On the other hand, about 25,000 people die in the UK of venous thromboembolism and 1-in-500 Britons will develop it.
Shorter Men Lived Longer
This is not the first study that finds a benefit for being short. In 2014, one study2 looked at 8,000 men and those with height below 5 feet 2 inches lived longer than their taller counterparts.
Interestingly, Mark Sisson mentioned it in his article that some researchers have linked excessive height to poor health and longevity. Additionally, ABC News reports that taller people are at risk of certain health problems.
The Scientific American also reported these studies.