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Taller people have a higher risk of disease, huge new study confirms

New research shows that height is associated with an increased risk of many diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Published Jun 5, 2022 3:36 AM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Jun 26 2022 3:03 PM CDT

A study on the diseases risks titled "A multi-population phenome-wide association study of genetically-predicted height in the Million Veteran Program" has been published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Taller people have a higher risk of disease, huge new study confirms 01 |

International researchers have determined that being taller is associated with a higher risk of irregular heartbeats, varicose veins, skin and bone infections, and nerve damage in one's extremities (peripheral neuropathy). They also found that the higher your predicted height as determined by your genetics, the lower your risk of coronary heart disease, but the higher your blood pressure and cholesterol are.

The data used by the research team comes from the VA Million Veteran Program, which includes health and genetic information from over 200,000 white adults and over 50,000 black adults. This allowed them to remove confounding factors and look directly at the connections between over 1,000 conditions and traits to conclude that height is a "previously unrecognized risk factor for several common conditions in adults."

However, the researchers note that more studies will be needed to clarify some of the identified associations. Such studies would also benefit from studying a larger, more diverse international population.

"Using genetic methods applied to the VA Million Veteran Program, we found evidence that adult height may impact over 100 clinical traits, including several conditions associated with poor outcomes and quality of life - peripheral neuropathy, lower extremity ulcers, and chronic venous insufficiency. We conclude that height may be an unrecognized non-modifiable risk factor for several common conditions in adults," said Sridharan Raghavan of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center.

You can read more from the study here.

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