In a new study, researchers found that shorter people with poor lung functions may have a high risk of heart disease.
The research was led by a team from the Queen Mary University of London.
Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death in the world. Nearly one in six men and one in ten women die from heart disease.
Identifying heart disease risk factors, especially those that could be prevented via early lifestyle interventions, is specifically important.
In the study, the team examined over 800 places in the human genome known to be linked to height.
They also examined data suggesting that lower height increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
The team found a causal relationship between height and heart disease risk.
Further analysis showed that lungs function accounted for most of this effect.
Traditional risk factors for heart disease, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, fat percentage, and socio-economic parameter only account for a very small part of the effect of height on heart disease risk.
The finding suggests that doctors need to assess lung function alongside someone’s height to have a better prediction of their risk in developing heart disease.
The team suggests that shorter people need to consider regular exercise to improve their heart health.
They also need to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and smoking to reduce their risk of heart disease.
The current study shows the effect of shorter height on the risk of heart disease is mediated by lung function.
The team believes their findings could empower efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle and in particular physical activity that can lead to improved lung function.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Eirini Marouli from the Queen Mary University of London.
The study is published in the journal Communications Biology.
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