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Can Your Height Be Linked with Cancer, Heart Disease, or Diabetes?

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

How big a role does an individual’s height play when it comes to illness? Studies conducted around the world indicate that the probability of developing certain health conditions is more closely linked to height over other genetic factors. Specifically, these disease processes include cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Though researchers are not entirely clear why height plays a role in predisposition, seniors and their Nashville caregivers will benefit from understanding the findings of these studies.

Cancer

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cancer claims the lives of approximately 15,000 women in the United States every year. Scientists submitted an article in a 2011 issue of the Lancet Oncology reporting that tall women seem to have an increased risk of developing ten different types of cancer over their shorter counterparts. Additionally, an article published in a 2008 issue of Cancer Epidemiology claimed that tall men had a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. British researchers evaluated the results of 47 studies involving more than 100,000 women and found that for every two inches a woman grew past 63 inches, the risk of developing ovarian cancer increased by seven percent.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease causes more than 600,000 U.S. deaths annually. However, heart problems seem to affect shorter people more often than taller people. A 2010 article published in the European Heart Journal explained that researchers assessed the data from 52 studies involving more than three million men and women and determined that shorter people demonstrated a 50 percent higher risk of having cardiovascular disorders. Scientists theorize that the blood vessels and coronary arteries in shorter people are smaller in diameter and thus more easily become blocked.

Diabetes

Researchers from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and the University of Malta found that people of shorter stature are more predisposed to developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes than taller individuals. This could be due to the fact that shorter people tend to struggle with weight, which can cause diabetes. Consequently, those with diabetes are also more likely to have elevated levels of protein in their urine that could lead to kidney disease.

Knowing the findings of these studies can help seniors and their caregivers determine the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. If your loved one was recently diagnosed with one of these diseases, turn to the experts at Home Care Assistance of Nashville. As a leading provider of flexible live-in and hourly home care, we make it our mission to help seniors manage their illnesses in the comfort of home by offering assistance with personal care, prescription pick-ups, and medication reminders. Go online to learn more about our services or call us today at (615) 656-4999 to schedule a free in-home consultation.