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Height may be an unrecognised non-modifiable risk factor for several health issues


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Taller people have an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy and bone infections, but a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to the world’s largest study of height and disease.

Connections between various diseases and a person’s actual height, and connections to their predicted height based on their genetics, were looked at separately.

The team used the VA Million Veteran Program data, including genetic and health information from more than 200,000 white adults and more than 50,000 black adults.

The study looked at more than 1,000 conditions and traits, making it the largest study of height and disease to date.

New associations between being taller and a higher risk of peripheral neuropathy, as well as skin and bone infections such as leg and foot ulcers were uncovered.

“We conclude that height may be an unrecognised non-modifiable risk factor for several common conditions in adults", said Raghavan, lead researcher.

The research was led by Sridharan Raghavan of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in the US and published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Largest height study ever: being tall increases risk of peripheral neuropathy, lowers heart risk

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Scientific journal that publishes human studies and original contributions in all areas of biology


Asst Professor at Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and University of Colorado School of Medicine


Federal Cabinet-level agency that provides near-comprehensive healthcare services to eligible military veterans.