Heart Disease :: Height loss in old age linked to heart disease risk

UK researchers have found that men who lose 3cm or more of height as they age have an increased risk of heart attack and death. The study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, took into account other risk factors for heart disease and poor health.

The study was part of the British Regional Heart Study, which enrolled men between 1978 and 1980 and then followed them up 20 years later when they were in their 60s and 70s.

Over the 20-year period the men lost an average of 1.67cm of height.

Height loss was associated with a 42% increased risk of coronary events such as heart attacks, even in men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.

It is as yet unclear why height loss may increase the risk of death and heart attacks, although osteoporosis – a disease characterised by loss of bone mass – was already known to increase the risk of death.

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