Height related to heart attack risk? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Height related to heart attack risk?

June 9, 2010

People come in all sizes. Now a new study finds that your height could a measure of your risk of heart problems.

"Shorter people develop heart disease 1.5 times more often than taller people," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum of Lenox Hill Hospital.

Researchers in Finland looked at over 3 million people. They considered men under 5'5" and women under 5' tall. Those groups had more than a 50 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Researchers aren't sure just why short people may be more vulnerable to heart health issues. One theory has to do with the size of the heart.

"The heart is smaller and with smaller hearts there are smaller arteries and there's a more likely chance that they can develop blockages in the arteries," Steinbaum explained.

The findings do concern Karen Krause at 5'1" tall, but she does her best to stay healthy.

"I think that's about all I can do," she said.

Height is obviously something you can't control, so doctors say to focus on the things you can change to lessen your risk for heart disease, like diet and exercise.

That study was sponsored by the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research.

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