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Short stature is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), a Finnish study shows.
Reporting their findings in the European Heart Journal, Tuula Paajanen (Tampere University, Finland) and team comment that “short people have coronary arteries of smaller diameter which may be occluded earlier in life under conditions which amplify CHD risk.” This may at least in part explain the increased risk for CHD in short individuals, they say.
The findings revealed that individuals of short stature were 55% more likely to die from CVD, and 49% more likely to develop or die from CHD, with their relative risk for all CVD endpoints combined increased by an average of 46%.
Further analysis of the effect of gender showed that the association between short stature and CHD morbidity and mortality existed in men. Risk for death and morbidity from CHD was 49% greater in short men (below 166.1 cm) compared with tall men (above 176.2 cm). The same association could not be confirmed for women due to insufficient data.