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Being tall is another health risk

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As if we didn’t have enough health risks to contend with, researchers have come up with another one—being tall.  

Researchers estimate that anyone who’s taller than 5 feet, nine inches has a higher risk of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) or circulatory problems.  

Tall people are also more likely to suffer from cellulitis, skin abscesses, chronic leg ulcers, varicose veins and thrombosis. 

On a more positive note, they are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol

Tall people’s health problems have much to do with the simple fact that blood has further to travel, say researchers from the US’s Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System.  

They based their findings on data from more than 280,000 veterans and concluded that height is “an unrecognized but biologically important” risk factor for a range of health problems.  

More work needs doing on the theory, the researchers say, before height is recognised as another health risk.  Height may not be the only determinant; tall people may eat better or exercise more which could be reducing their risk of some diseases, for instance, while other factors could be at play that puts them at risk for circularity problems.

But one thing’s for sure: it’s not a tall story.

(Source: PLOS Genetics, 2022; 18: e1010193)

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Article Topics: heart, hypertension
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