TAMPERE, Finland, June 9 (UPI) — A systematic review of more than 50 studies found short people are at greater risk of developing heart disease, researchers in Finland said.
Dr. Tuula Paajanen of the University of Tampere in Finland and colleagues compared the studies with the shortest people with the tallest people.
On average short men were considered short if they were below 5 feet, 7 inches, and short women below 5 feet, with tall men defined as taller than 5 feet, 10 inches, and tall women were defined as taller than 5 feet, 5 inches, Paajanen said.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, found short adults were approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop cardiovascular heart disease and die from it than were tall people — in both men and women.
In addition, short men were 37 percent more likely to die from any cause compared with tall men, and short women were 55 percent more likely to die from any cause compared with their taller counterparts.
“Due to the heterogeneity of studies, we cannot reliably answer the question on the critical absolute height,” the study authors said in a statement. “The height cut-off points did not only differ between the articles but also between men and women and between ethnic groups. This is why we used the shortest-versus-tallest group setting.”
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