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Losing Over 3cm In Height In Old Age Raises Heart Attack Risk

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An elderly man who loses more than 3cm, 1.18 inches, in height has a significantly greater risk of having a heart attack and dying, say researchers involved in the British Regional Heart Study. You can read about this new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In a study involving 4,200 men, who had been enrolled between 1978-1980, the researchers found that those who lost over 3cm had a 64% greater risk of dying, compared to elderly men who lost under 1cm. The scientists say they factored in such variables as poor health and heart disease. The British Regional Heart Study followed all the men up 20 years later when they were elderly.

The scientists found that:-- The average height loss was 1.67cm-- 33% of all the men lost over 2cm-- Higher height loss was linked to a 43% greater chance of having a coronary event (heart attack), this included men who had no previous cardiovascular diseaseThe scientists say they are not completely sure why a loss in height during old age raises a person's risk of having a heart attack and/or dying early. We do know that osteoporosis is linked to more deaths. However, osteoporosis brings with it a height loss of about 6cm.Study leader, Dr Goya Wannamethee, said "It's been well established that shortness is associated with cardiovascular disease, so we were interested to see whether height loss itself could influence mortality. It's another indicator of poor health."The researchers also found that the excess deaths as a result of losing too much height were due to cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and other causes, but not cancer.(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine : The British Regional Heart Study : December 2006.)

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Posted On: 19 December, 2006
Modified On: 16 January, 2014


Created by: myVMC