The Taller Your Are, the Higher Your Risk for VTE

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Did you know that height could be a health risk factor? A new study suggests that the taller you are, the higher is your risk for developing a blood clot in the veins.

This type of potentially deadly blood clout is called venous thromboemilism (also known as VTE).

According to Lund University assoctiat professor lead researcher, Bengt Zoller, “Height in the population has increased, and continues increasing, which could be contributing to the fact that the incidence of thrombosis has increased.”

Zoller goes on to argue that gravity might have something to do with this association. He argues, “It could just be that because taller individuals have longer leg veins there is more surface area where problems can occur,” after all, “There is also more gravitational pressure in leg veins of taller persons that can increase the risk of blood flow slowing or temporarily stopping.”

In this study, which has been reported in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, the research team looked at data from more than 1.6 million men born between 1951 and 1952, in Sweden. They also looked at similar data from women who had their first pregnancy between 1982 and 2012.

In the study, the research team found that men who are shorter than 5 feet 3 inches, have a risk for developing venous thromboembolism that is 65 per cent lower than among who are men 6 feet 2 inches or taller.

In addition, the research found that women who are shorter than 5 feet 1 inches—and pregnant at the time of survey—the risk for developing venous thromboembolism fell by nearly 70 per cent, compared against those women who were 6 feet or taller.

At the end of the day, Zoller notes, “Height is not something we can do anything about. However, the height in the population has increased, and continues increasing, which could be contributing to the fact that the incidence of thrombosis has increased.”

Finally, he concludes: “I think we should start to include height in risk assessment just as overweight, although formal studies are needed to determine exactly how height interacts with inherited blood disorders and other conditions.”

 

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