New York: While standing tall among the crowd may give you an edge, the extra inches can come at a cost. A new study has confirmed that people who are tall are at a higher risk of developing a host of health problems including skin infections, nerve disorders.
Tall or short, a person's height is known to increase their risk for a variety of diseases. While height has been previously associated with multiple common conditions, ranging from heart disease to cancer, scientists could not determine whether being tall or short is what puts them at risk, or if factors that affect height, like nutrition and socioeconomic status, are actually to blame.
Sridharan Raghavan from the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Centre, confirmed previous findings that being tall is linked to a higher risk of atrial fibrillation and varicose veins, and a lower risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The study, published in open access journal PLOS Genetics, also uncovered new associations between greater height and a higher risk of peripheral neuropathy, which is caused by damage to nerves on the extremities, as well as skin and bone infections, such as leg and foot ulcers.
The team included genetic and health information from more than 250,000 adults and analysed more than 1,000 conditions and traits overall, making it the largest study of height and disease to date.
The researchers conclude that height may be a previously unrecognised risk factor for several common conditions in adults. However, they noted that more studies are needed to clarify some of these associations, and that future studies would benefit from including a larger, more diverse international population.