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Height link to heart disease risk

Comprehensive new research has suggested that there may be a link between height and the risk of developing heart disease.

During the studies, people below 160.5 cm (5ft 3 in) in height were found to be 50% more likely to have a cardiac complaint, to have a heart attack or die from heart diseases than taller people - those over 173.9 cm (5ft 8 in).

The findings of 52 studies involving over three million people applied both to men and women, even though the specifications of height differed on a gender basis.

Dr Tuula Paajanen from the University of Tampere in Finland, the lead author of the study, said there had been years of conflicting evidence on the link between height and heart disease, with more than 1,900 research papers on the issue.

"We hope that with this meta-analysis, the association is recognised to be true and in future more effort is targeted to finding out the possible patho-physiological, environmental and genetic mechanisms behind the association, with eyes and minds open to different hypotheses," she said.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

European Heart Journal