A new study found that height may be a predictor of the risk of developing blood clots. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden found that the taller the person, the higher the risk of venous thromboembolism aka blood clots is.
The findings appeared this week in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.
Lead author Dr. Bengt Zöller noted that we cannot do anything about our height. However, in recent years, the height of the general population has steadily increased which can be associated with the slight increase in thrombosis.
Researchers recommend considering height as a risk factor just like being overweight. The research couldn’t tell how exactly being taller affects the body in a way that boosts the risk of blood clots.
In the U.S., blood clots are behind up to 100,000 deaths every year. In Europe, there are 500,000 deaths every year.
Body Size Matters
Nevertheless, height is also associated with other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and longevity.
‘Body size in general is an important factor,’
The latest study involved 1.6 million men and 1 million women. Pregnancy is also a risk factor for blood clots as most deaths of new moms happen because of blood clots. Study authors backed their findings with data on siblings that had different heights. They also checked the Swedish Hospital Register to monitor blood clot-related diagnoses over four decades.
The study revealed that women shorter than 5.1 ft had a 69% lower risk of developing thrombosis than women taller than 6 feet. The risk was reduced by 65% in men about 5.3 feet when they were compared to 6-foot-2 tall men.
Taller men had a higher risk of developing blood clots in their legs and lungs. When blood clots obstruct a blood vessel in the lungs it is called pulmonary embolism.
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