Short Stature Linked To Higher Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Henrietta Strickland
September 11, 2019

The association of height with diabetes risk appeared to be stronger among normal-weight individuals, with an 86 per cent lower risk per 10cm larger height in men, and 67 per cent lower risk per 10cm larger height in women.

Many studies have linked short stature to a higher risk of diabetes as well as higher cardiovascular risk.

This is not the first study to link differences in height to differing risks of long-term health conditions.

Being shorter than average can bring numerous annoyances, but a new study suggests it might also heighten a person's odds for type 2 diabetes.

Here's how it works: Everybody produces insulin, a hormone made by our pancreas that allows blood sugar into our cells to use as energy.

What is Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is pretty common.

In obese or overweight individuals every further 4 inches was related to a 36 per cent decrease diabetes threat for males and 30 per cent decrease threat for ladies.

The effect of height on diabetes is so large that scientists say it should now be considered an independent risk factor that doctors should take into account when examining patients.

"As risk continuously increases with shorter height, there isn't a cutoff height available", he noted.

And while monitoring shorter people for diabetes and its risk factors might be helpful, it's not clear that there's a specific height where additional screening should begin, Schulze said. When the results were adjusted for liver fat content, the men's reduced risk of diabetes per 10cm larger height was 34% (compared with 40% in the overall results), and the women's reduced risk was just 13% compared with 33% in the overall results.

"These observations corroborate that height is a useful predictive marker for diabetes risk", the authors concluded.

The researchers also found that a longer leg length was associated with a lower risk of diabetes. In his practice, he said, "I will check all people for diabetes - tall or short - and look at important risk factors, such as family history of diabetes, physical activity, diet, fat and fat distribution, blood lipids [cholesterol], and finally, [blood sugar levels]".

Writing within the Diabetologia medical journal, they mentioned: 'Part of this inverse association may be driven by the associations of greater height with lower liver fat content and a more favourable profile of cardiometabolic risk factors, specifically blood fats, adiponectin and C-reactive protein'.

'Our research additionally means that early interventions to scale back height-related metabolic threat all through life seemingly have to concentrate on determinants of development in delicate intervals throughout being pregnant, early childhood, puberty and early maturity, and may take potential sex-differences under consideration'.

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