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Can Height Affect Risk for Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Cancer?

Researchers are examining the link between an individual’s height and his or her risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Many researchers believe that increased height is a marker for overnutrition during certain stages of growth in utero. This may pre-program a person’s insulin response and certain signaling pathways in the body, which impact the risk of certain health conditions. When Albuquerque hourly caregivers understand this correlation, they can take the necessary precautions with the seniors they care for.

Heart Disease

A 2015 study at the University of Leicester and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that taller people have a reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease. Researchers found that for every 2.5-inch change in height, it affected a person’s risk by 13.5 percent. Taller people reveal a lower fat content in their livers than shorter individuals and may have fewer issues with lipid metabolism, which can significantly reduce heart disease risk. 

Diabetes

Medical researchers in Germany also found a similar correlation between increased height and a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. Their data shows that this may be because taller people are more sensitive to insulin than shorter people. Additionally, shorter people typically accumulate weight more easily than their taller counterparts. This increase in BMI can often lead to diabetes.

Cancers

The same German study found that taller people might actually have an increased risk for certain cancers, however. Their research found that for every 6.5 cm of a person’s height, his or her risk of cancer mortality increased by four percent. The most common cancers affected by this are breast, colon, and melanoma due to the activation of pathways that affect cell growth. Since taller people have more cells than shorter people, their cancer risk is greater.

Implications For Seniors

There is little adults can do about their height, but these findings should not be cause for alarm. Albuquerque home care providers should consider height while assessing risk factors their loved one might have for certain conditions and schedule an appointment with his or her doctor. Vigilance can lead to early detection and subsequently more effective treatment. 

Research reveals significant correlations between certain major diseases and both physical and lifestyle factors. It is important to know the risks for our loved ones and work to manage the factors that are controllable. With help from Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque, you can give your loved one the care he or she needs to monitor these risk factors. We provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, and Albuquerque Alzheimer’s care to help seniors manage their illnesses and enhance life at home. Call us today at 505-798-0800 to learn more about our services and schedule a free in-home consultation.