Is Your Height Determining Your Risk For Dementia?

tall shortBeing tall has its advantages: you can reach things in high places, ride all of the rollercoasters at the amusement park, and never have to worry about being lost in a crowd. Now, although being short has its advantages too, it appears that none of them really outweigh being above average in height. With this said, it has now been proven that being short actually increases your likelihood of dementia, according to a new health study.

Researchers have compiled a large array of information and analyzed 18 different population studies that consisted of over 180,000 participants, and compared the threat of dying from dementia for the tallest and shortest people.

Results show that men below the height of 5ft 6in are up to 50% percent more likely to succumb to death from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, when compared to men taller than 5ft 10in tall.

Women on the other hand, were found to be less at risk, but those that measured to be shorter than 5ft 1in were found to be roughly 40 percent more likely to die from dementia-related issues, than those taller than 5ft 5in.

Now, even with all of these studies, researchers did stress that height was probably not the only determining factor that set off these brain-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. However, it was concluded that height may well be one of the many markers that plays a role in the onset of dementia.

So because height does not directly cause dementia in any way, scientists theorize that it does however, capture a number of the important early life factors for the illness, such as poor nutrition and psychosocial stress. Determining these factors then allows further studies on just how these factors affect dementia itself.

The study was also able to find that over time, as the body shrinks naturally, that for men, every 7 cm reduction in height was directly correlated to a 25 percent increase in the risk of dementia death. For women, each 6.8 centimeters of height loss meant roughly a 13 percent increase in risk.

There were many other socio-economic life factors that coincided with the height of a person and their risk of death due to dementia. So, while height is indeed a factor in the rate of dementia, it’s not the only thing that matters when you are taking inventory of your healthy lifestyle choices.

 

 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Robert S. Digby

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