Are shorter people at higher risk for developing coronary artery disease?

There is a relative 13.5% increase in coronary artery disease risk for every 2.5 inches shaved off a person's height.

Are shorter people at higher risk for developing CAD?
Are shorter people at higher risk for developing CAD?

HealthDay News — Short patients may be more likely to have coronary artery disease, and that increased risk could be linked to the genetics that also determine height, study findings suggest.

“The nature and underlying mechanisms of an inverse association between adult height and the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) are unclear,” noted Christopher O'Donnell, MD, MPH, associate director of the Framingham Heart Study for the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and colleagues.

To better understand the cardiovascular risks associated with short stature, the investigators pooled data from two recent international research efforts into the human genome, one of which explored the genetics of height and the other the genetics of CAD.

The association between a change in height and risk of CAD by examining 180 different height-associated genetic variants in 193,449 patients, and the scientists concluded that there is a relative 13.5% increase in CAD risk for every 2.5 inches shaved off a person's height. They then drilled down to very specific individual genetic data from a smaller pool of 18,249 people. They identified a number of pathways by which genes related to height could also influence CAD risk.

“Part of this inverse association may be driven by the association between shorter height and an adverse lipid profile, although the majority of the relationship is likely to be determined by shared biologic processes that determine achieved height and atherosclerosis development,” concluded the investigators.

References

  1. O'Donnell C et al. NEJM. 2015; doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1404881
Loading links....
You must be a registered member of Clinical Advisor to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Web Exclusives

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters