Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The studies conducted in the last 20 years have concluded that height is an indicative factor when it comes to affecting the health of a person. In this regard, it is considered that the bigger, is better, which means taller people are supposed to be in better health than shorter ones. The primary basic reason behind this implication is that a taller person with more length is more likely to have a greater mass, also better nutrition, which makes them healthier than the others. Hence, people with a better height are supposed to be less prone to health issues arising due to heart problems. It is not just matters pertaining to the heart, but a whole list of several concerns that arise due to the height differences. This article provides the number of ways in which the health of a person can be affected by their height. This read also provides defined solutions to fix the problems arising due to height differences, later in the article.

15 Surprising Ways Height Affects Your Health

Here are some of the ways in which your health is affected by the height of your body:

  1. Cancer

    Several clinical research studies have suggested that the height of a person can have an implication with regard to the incidence of cancer. It is observed that a person has a height that is below the average proposed height, and then one is less likely to get affected by cancer. This has been concluded by conducting studies on sample population of Europe and North America for incidence of ovarian cancer in females and prostate cancer in men, respectively. In a study that examined 100,000 women in North America and Europe, it was found that the incidence of ovarian cancer was less common among short height women. There was one more study that was tested among 9000 men of British origin between the ages of fifty to sixty-nine that showed that shorter men had less chances of contracting prostate cancer. Hence, it can be adequately deduced that the height of a person would have a direct or indirect correlation with the health of the person.

  2. Diabetes

    Diabetes is one of the most excruciating diseases that affect a major chunk of the population. There are several forms of the disease that are categorized with type 1 and more. Type 2 diabetes is one form of the disease that has correlation with the length of your body. An experiment conducted among 6000 adults for over a period of five years has shown results that concluded that people with better height are at lower risks of contracting the disease like Diabetes. Nothing much is still known about the relation between the two. However, it is indicative that shorter height is a reflection of poor nutrition, or an incidence of problems with the metabolism which could also be a possible reason for the occurrence of the disease.

  3. Heart Disease

    It is revealed by scientists that people who are below the height of five feet three inches are likely to suffer from heart diseases. The reason behind the same is not completely known. It is only concluded by testing a sample population, and also seen that people with height above five feet eight inches are definitely less likely to contract such diseased conditions. Even though not clearly understood, there are two acceptable situations that could be the reason for the occurrence. The first reason is poor nutrition that causes less height which also impacts the health of the person, and makes a person more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. It could also be that the genes in a person affect the height of the person, and again the same genes are responsible for one person attaining a shorter height. Hence, the height could be clear reflection of the onset of any kind of cardiovascular disease in a person.

  4. Stroke

    This is a serious implication that results due to the blockage of the flow of blood into the brain. It has been observed through various studies that a taller person is less likely to get affected by something of this kind. The reasons once again trace back to poor nutrition or other instances of childhood which call out for the same.

  5. Blood Clot

    The formation of blood clot can be a very serious consequence owing to the formation in brains or lungs. Studies have demonstrated that people with a shorter height are less likely to be prone to the formation of blood clots. It has been mentioned that people who are in the height range of less than five feet are in the least probability of having one.

  6. Alzheimer’s Disease

    It is a disease that is conditioned by mental degeneration. It is a neurodegenerative disease that disrupts the incidence of memory retention. It also causes several other concerns in the person affected like problems with speech, issues with the behavior of the person, etc. In the case of this kind of a dementia, it has been observed that people who have a better height are also at an advantage and this is closely observed especially in the case of men. This is testified by an experimental study conducted for over five hundred people concluded that men who are above the height range of five feet and eleven inches are at a much lower risk of contracting the disease than people with the height range of lower than five feet seven inches. The incidence of taller people contracting this is as low as sixty percent when compared to the shorter range of height. It has been seen that the same is likely to be true in the instances of women; however there is no solid justification to prove the same for women.

  7. Pregnancies

    It has been observed that the term of pregnancy is slightly longer for taller women. It has been studied that women who are in the height range of five feet eight inches are more likely to complete the whole term of the pregnancy before giving birth, however in shorter women the tenure of pregnancy is reduced and they could give birth even before completing the full term of the pregnancy. Studies have also revealed that for the difference of every centimeter in the difference of height between two different pregnant women, the woman with a lesser height is likely to give birth with a probability of it being one fifth of a day faster than the taller one. There is no appropriate explanation to back up the data explained above; however one could relate it to the size of the different parts of one’s body like the pelvis.

  8. Loss of Hair

    The incidence of loss of hair can be related to the stature of a person. Studies conducted for twenty two thousand men across seven different countries have proven that shorter men are more prone to hair loss than taller ones. This is indicative of gene changes in a man that can cause loss of hair early, and researchers connected this incidence of hair loss with the height of the person.

  9. Long Life

    It has been observed that shorter people tend to live longer and healthier over their life span. The reasons for the same are still under speculation and no one knows exactly what causes this scenario. However, the spheres related to the damage of cells, levels of hormones, and size of different parts of the body are being studied in order to understand the above correlation, but nothing appropriate is still found.

  10. Heat Exhaustion

    This is one area which can be of benefit to both shorter and taller people, owing to different circumstances. It is observed that taller people are more likely to get heated up in a situation like that owing to them being heavier and having a greater body mass. This is the reason a taller person gets heated up much more easily and is at a greater risk of stroke than a shorter one. This happens because they get heated up at a pace way greater than the pace at which they lose that heat and this causes an instance of overheating or stroke. However, on the reverse end, in colder climate a taller person is much more likely to stay warm than the shorter one. Hence, this is one point where both heights get preferences owing to different circumstantial situations.

  11. Pain around Back and Hips

    It has been seen that shorter people are less likely to get a pain in their lower back, or around the hip region. One of best reasons to explain the same is the center of gravity for taller people is higher, making them more susceptible to such instances of lower back and hip pack.

  12. Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation

    Several clinical studies have revealed that taller and heavier women are more likely to develop a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation that shorter ones. Preliminary research conducted in the month of April at a conference regarding heart diseases revealed that a taller woman is at a risk of developing this disease which is as high as three times when compared to shorter women. It has been observed that a woman of a larger size as a growing adult is more likely to be exposed to the perils of this disease. This is more likely to happen as the size of a woman at the growing age also affect the electrical pathways that work in association with the heart control and also causes addition pressure against your lungs that causes the heart to bloat leading to the incidence of this disease.

  13. Organ Transplants

    This is one interesting point that one might have not worried about. Organ transplants are required in case of an emergency that involves potential threat to the life of the affected person. It is seen that the incidence of organ transplant does not occur as a mechanism wherein, the size of an organ fits any person you want to transplant it into. The transplant is critical to the size of the organ being transferred, hence the availability of an organ is not all that one has to consider for the transplant, but it also considers the size of the available organ that is a critical element while considering the transplant. Studies have shown that shorter people are more likely to get adversely affected by this than taller ones. It is seen that people with a height less than five feet three inches are more likely to wait to get the organ of an appropriate size from the donor than the taller ones. Shorter ones are the ones who definitely have to wait longer on the organ lists and are also likely to die if the wait is too long. There are discussions held in order to undo this disadvantage for the shorter people, by downsizing the available organ to fit into smaller dimensions.

  14. Injury

    A tall person is more susceptible to injury than a short person. This is understood in the manner that when a tall person hits the ground, the distance traveled by the tall person is more than a short person, thus causing more amount of injury for the tall person. Hence, a tall person should be more careful with regard to hitting the ground than a short person as the tall one is more susceptible to it. Also, a tall person is more often driven by slow reactions as the distance traveled by the nerve impulse is more for a tall person than a short one.

  15. Spine and Neck Problems

    Most of the work stations are designed without giving much consideration about the height of the people sitting and working in it. However, posture is one of the things which if meddled with could result in body pain, that could affect your neck, back and spine if you are not seated properly. Depending on your height, if you are made to sit uncomfortably, it could result in spine and neck problems and you could have severe body ache. It is necessary to give importance to posture and sit in a manner that makes one comfortable and the parts of the body maintained at a good posture. It has been observed that a tall person is much more likely to get affected by this condition than a short one. Tall people are more likely to be prone to diseases like scoliosis. This disease is conditioned by developing a curvature sideways at the spine and can have adverse impacts if posture is not corrected.

    Taller women are more likely to have twins/triplets. Some studies in New York has related the incidence of conceiving twins/triplets with the release of higher levels of insulin growth factor which is a protein that released by the liver that is a contributing factor for the birth of twins/triplets. This particular protein makes the ovaries of a woman release more eggs which results in the incidence of multiple births, and also triggers the growth of long bones. In a research study, the heights of one twenty nine mothers who gave birth to twins/triplets was noted and it was found that on an average these women were about an inch taller than other women, that could be used to come to the conclusion that taller women are more likely to come across an instance of having twins/triplets than others.

Ways to Reduce Instances Of Heart Problems Irrespective Of Height Perspective

Avoid Tobacco: Tobacco is one of the principal contributing factors that lead to the incidence of all kinds of diseases. It is also extremely addictive. It causes congestion in the chest and can lead to breathing troubles too. Also, it is one of the major reasons for the incidence of lung cancer. Hence, it is always advisable to reduce the consumption of tobacco slowly such that you reach a point of quitting it. It is not at all good for health and can cause several kinds of complications; hence it is advisable to avoid tobacco to prevent any causative agent that can interfere with the normal functioning of the body. Only when consumed, we can discuss the risks and height comes to play, but if you avoid its consumption, you need not worry about the height factor playing a role into it;

Control Cholesterol: Cholesterol is not at all good for the health and is known to add additional amount of fat to the layers of the heart that blocks the normal flow of blood. It is important to avoid food that adds cholesterol to your body. Cholesterol is a crucial cause that leads to the incidence of different kinds of heart diseases, and we have already seen how height plays a role in the incidence of heart diseases, hence to prevent the height factor playing a role into it, it is advisable to eat good healthy food and keep away from those high in cholesterol;

Lower High Blood Pressure: It is necessary for a person to keep in check the level of blood pressure. One needs to lower the blood pressure level if it is too high as it could lead to the incidence of different cardiovascular diseases, causing more trouble for short people as they are at higher risk due to their height factor. However, if the blood pressure level is kept in check in the first place, there would be no issues with regard to the height. There are several ways that can be adopted to keep the blood pressure in check and lower it if it shows to be too high. Some of the ways are as follows:

  • A diet that has low level of salt in nature would be very useful to lower the level of blood pressure in the body
  • Doing a set of exercises everyday keeps you healthy and keeps the body work fine and helps to keep the blood pressure level under control
  • Managing one’s own weight is another thing that helps to keep your pressure level fine and this can be easily achieved by following the above two points
  • Medication is advisable in an incidence of very high blood pressure as it is very harmful for the body;
  • Maintain Healthy Weight: Healthy weight is an indication of correct diet coupled with good exercise regime. A person who has a good weight is less prone to fall ill due to a well-built immune system and the ability of the body to withstand perils. A nutritious diet provides the necessary nutrients to a person that helps the person keep well and also fight any intruding germs coming from the environment. Hence, doing this will not only help a person lead a healthy life but also help in reducing the disparities due to height which would only originate when the body is weak, or prone to infections;
  • Exercise: One should devote a daily time routine of at least thirty minutes every day to do exercises that promote proper circulation of blood flow around the body, thus keeping the system healthy and away from onset of diseases.
  • Most of the instances recorded showing a significant difference of health conditions owing to height constraints can be traced back to the nutrition of the person, which in the first place is again a reason for a person being of a certain height.

There is no direct relation between the height and the health of a person, however the article speaks about several research studies and statistical figures that are indicative of some relation. One must understand that though we do not know the exact correlation but we know it exists. Hence, we should try to take care of ourselves with good diet to stay away from such diseases.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 15, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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