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Is short height associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease ?

short height, vertically challenged, midget, dwarf,“The results are unequivocal: short stature is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease. This meta-analysis provides solid proof for this”. These are the words of Finnish professor Jaakko Tuomilehto, as published in his commentary entitled ‘Tall is beautiful and heart-healthy?’ He was commenting on the 2010 study entitled ‘Short stature is associated with coronary heart disease: a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis’.

The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between short height and CVD morbidity and mortality. Morbidity refers to the incidence of illness in the population and mortality refers to the incidence of death. CVD refers to cardiovascular disease, meaning all of the diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, including CHD and MI. CHD is coronary heart disease which means clogged arteries. MI is the abbreviation for myocardial infarction which simply means heart attack.

Data from 52 studies with over 3 million individuals was used in the analysis.

Height was usually not the main topic of these studies but rather it was given as a demographic variable. Only a few studies were focused on identifying height as a risk factor.

The short people were defined as those who are below 5’ 3” or 160.5cm and the tall were over about 5’ 8” or 173.9 cm....(click for more)