Shorter Height Genetically Linked to Increased Risk of Coronary Heart Disease; New Study in NEJM Discounts Confounding Factors; 2.5 Inches Shorter, CHD Risk Increases 13.5%

The shorter you are- the more your risk of coronary heart disease. That's the key finding of a new study led by the University of Leicester which discovered that every 2.5 inches change in your height affected your risk of coronary heart disease by 13.5%. For example, compared to a 5’6” tall person, a 5’ tall person on average has a 32% higher risk of coronary heart disease because of their relatively shorter stature. The research, led by Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester, was published online on April 8, 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was supported by the British Heart Foundation, The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and others. Professor Samani said: "For more than 60 years it has been known that there is an inverse relationship between height and risk of coronary heart disease. "It is not clear whether this relationship is due to confounding factors such as poor socioeconomic environment, or nutrition, during childhood that on the one hand determine achieved height and on the other the risk of coronary heart disease, or whether it represents a primary relationship between shorter height and more coronary heart disease. "Now, using a genetic approach, researchers at the University of Leicester undertaking the study on behalf of an international consortium of scientists (the CADIoGRAM+C4D consortium) have shown that the association between shorter height and higher risk of coronary heart disease is a primary relationship and is not due to confounding factors." Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of premature death worldwide. It is the condition where the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) become narrowed due to a deposition of fatty material (plaque) in the walls of the arteries.
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