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In a new study, researchers have found that taller men may be at reduced risk of developing heart failure. It may be attributed to the increased distance between heart and certain blood vessels in them, which may reduce the level of stress on the heart.

Height may offer some Degree of Protection to Taller Men against developing Heart Failure

There have been many studies in the past which associate height with cardiovascular diseases. However, in a first study of its kind, researchers have found a link between height and heart failure. They have found that height may offer some degree of protection to taller men against developing heart failure.

The research, which has been published in the American Journal of Cardiology, was led by Luc Djousse, from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical Center. For the study, 22,000 male doctors were asked to fill up questionnaires about their height, weight and medical history. All the doctors were around 50 years of age at the onset of the study. They were asked to report any new medical condition diagnosed in them every year.

The participants were followed up for around 22 years. During this period, 7% of the doctors, i.e.1, 444 doctors developed heart failure. The researchers noted that the likelihood of developing heart failure was 24% less in men who were above 6 feet in height compared to those who were 5 feet 8 inches tall or less. On the basis of the results obtained from the study, the researchers have opined that height may be linked to heart failure. Taller the men, less is the likelihood of their developing heart failure.

Distance between the Heart and Major Blood Vessels may be playing a role in the Development of Heart Failure

For their study, researchers took into account the age of the participants, their weight at the onset of the study, pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension and other confounding factors which could have played a role in development of heart failure.

There is no evident and plausible reason behind the association of height and heart failure. Some scientists feel that the distance between the heart and major blood vessels may be playing a role in the development of heart failure. In short men, the distance is considerably less, which may put a stress on the heart. In case of taller men, owing to the greater distance between the heart and the blood vessels, the stress on heart is comparatively minimal.


Some other scientists opine that a difference in diet or the economic background of the participants may be affecting the height of the participants and the health of their hearts. Childhood infections may lead to a build-up of plaque in the major blood vessels, leading to hypertension and heart failure.

Many more studies are required before we can completely comprehend the biological mechanisms through which height is inversely related to incidence of heart failure.

Heart failure is linked to a number of factors. Tying it to only one factor, namely height, is not proper. A person has to take care of his diet and level of physical activity in order to maintain his heart in a healthy condition. Simply being tall is not sufficient enough to protect against heart failure.