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Short Height People Are More Prone To Type 2 Diabetes And Other Diseases: Says Study

| Reviewed By Dr. Satish Babu

According to the latest research published in the journal Diabetologia by the German Institute of Human Nutrition, short-heightened people are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes. The study revealed that, with every 10 cm increase in height, the risk of diabetes in men decreases by 41% while the same risk decreases by 33% in women.

The Research

The study was carried out among 2662 middle-aged men and women. After monitoring their weight, age, waist size, sitting height, and blood pressure it was found that the future risk of type 2 diabetes was comparatively low in tall people; the risk levels declined by 41% in men and 33% in women.

In participants with normal weight and 10 cm more height, there was 86% lower risk in men while 67% lower risk was observed in women. In obese participants, the risk was 36% lower in men and 30% lower in women.

In individuals with large waist circumference, the risk was quite higher while in people with longer legs, the risk of type 2 diabetes decreases [1] . The researchers of the German Institute of Human Nutrition (Germany) said, "We found an inverse association between height and risk of type-2 diabetes among men and women, which was largely related to leg length among men."

However, the study suggests that the risk of type 2 diabetes may reduce in an individual if their early growth phases were well managed.

Other Health Issues Faced By Short Heighted People

Body growth is essential for the overall health of an individual. Short height not only invites diabetes but open doors for other diseases as well. Let's have a look at diseases often faced by people with short height.

1. Short height and lung disease

According to research published in Communications Biology, shorter people develop early problems with their lungs which in turn, leads to diabetes and heart diseases. Researchers advised such people to take up regular exercise and adopt an active lifestyle.

2. Short height and coronary heart disease

A study conducted by the researchers of the University of Leicester reveals that in a short-heightened person, the risk of heart-related diseases is more in comparison to taller ones. Every 2.5 inches less in height increase the risk by 13.5%. For example, if two people have a height of 5. 5 feet and 5 feet respectively, in the latter individual, the chances of coronary heart disease will increase by 27% [2] .

3. Short height and baldness

A study published in the journal Nature Communications said that short men are more likely to go bald than the taller ones. After investigating the gene of around 20000 men, they find out that premature hair loss is directly related to a short height.

4. Short height and pre-term birth

A research conducted by the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative reveals that maternal height during pregnancy matters, as it may cause pre-term birth of the baby. Also, it may cause lifelong problems to the new-born like vision problems, jaundice, slow intellectual, and breathing issues.

5. Short height and osteoporosis

University of Michigan researchers found that short height is related to an increased risk of osteoporosis in people, due to short bones and less cartilage. However, they suggest that genes determine 80% height in people while the remaining varies due to the environment and nutrition provided during an early stage.

Average Height Of Men And Women

According to statistical data, the average height of Indian men is 5 feet and 5 inches while the average height of Indian women is 5 feet.

View Article References
  1. [1] 1. Mueller, N. T., & Pereira, M. A. (2015). Leg length and type 2 diabetes: what's the link?. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 18(5), 452–456. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000211
  2. [2] 2. Pes, G. M., Ganau, A., Tognotti, E., Errigo, A., Rocchi, C., & Dore, M. P. (2018). The association of adult height with the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer in the population of Sardinia. PloS one, 13(4), e0190888. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0190888
Satish Babu Endocrinology
MD, MRCP (UK), CCST (London)
Satish Babu

Story first published: Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 15:36 [IST]
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