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While we all know the banging of the head in low walk ways and not fitting into a chair correctly, but there are some serious disadvantages of being tall as well. Many of these disadvantages have to do with your physical health and have been noted in a number of studies. These more serious health risks should be talked about with your Doctor if you have any concerns at all.
I know it may come across as strange at first, but once you read on below, you can see that the disadvantages to being tall can be quite serious. Which of course your Doctor (if he or she is a well trained one) will already know about and will quickly reassure you that the your concerns are legitimate.
Of course, there are also other more obvious disadvantages that are more social in nature. Not to mention the day to day activities shorter people take for granted. Simple tasks like leaning over to chop up carrots on a bench top can become very painful on the back in no time. Or the ever popular lower shower head fight.
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Health Risks Of Being A Tall Person
Higher Risks Of Blood Clots
A study published in the medical journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, has revealed that there could be a link between venous thromboembolism and height. This is important to note because this one of the leading causes of strokes and heart attacks.
The study looked at a group of more than 2 million Swedish siblings and found that men shorter than 5’3” were less likely to suffer from this form of blood clot. In fact, these men had a risk level that was 65% lower than their counterparts who were taller than 6’2”. This study did not only look at men, but also analyzed the risks for women. In women, those shorter than 5’1” had a 69% lower risk of these blood clots than those who were taller than 6 foot.
The researchers believe that there could be a link with gravity that causes an increase in blood clots in taller people. Being taller means that you have longer leg veins which increase the amount of surface area where a problem could occur. An increase in gravitational pressure in the veins could increase the chances of the blood flow slowing down or temporarily stopping.
Apparent Higher Chance Of Cancer – Eeek!
A review paper published in 2016 in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology stated that the risk of dying from cancer actually increases by approximately 4% for every 2 and a half inches of height.
Which is quite scary for anyone really, but especially if you are over 6 feet tall. Increased height could be a sign of over-nutrition, particularly in high-calorie animal proteins during the different phases of development and growth. This is important because it could activate the growth process which leaves cells more vulnerable to mutations such as cancer.
Of course, there are other theories as well which you might want to consider. One of these alternative theories is that height can be an indicator of organ size. When organs are larger, there are more cells that are at risk of mutation which could increase the risks of cancer.
There are other studies that have also found that taller men, as well as obese men, will have an increased risk of developing more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Additionally, tall women have been found to be more likely to develop melanoma, ovarian, breast and colon cancer.
Higher Risks Of Atrial Fibrillation As A Taller Person
While being tall can be good for the heart, there are some exceptions that you need to know about. There has been preliminary research done on atrial fibrillation which shows that taller and bigger women are almost 3 times more likely to develop this. Atrial fibrillation is a dangerous condition which affects the rhythm of the heart. The heart has an abnormal heart rhythm. Which can cause the blood that gets pump from the heart to not get distributed as effectively. We all know how important blood is.
The study, which spans 16 years, shows that the larger the body of a woman in their young adult years, the more likely they are to develop the irregularity. The electrical pathways of the heart could be disrupted by the larger cells. Additional pressure on the lungs from additional weight can also cause the heart to distend which causes this problem.
Back Pain – The Curse Of The Tall Person
Any tall person knows that there are times when their back hurts for unknown reasons. I know mine can certainly hurt for the pure reason of standing still. This back pain is often directly linked to height and research has shown this to be true. The primary reason why taller people are more prone to back pain is the fact that they slouch more often. Being taller means everything is lower to the ground.
Slouching in taller people is common we they are talking to others, walking through large crowds or in small spaces. The problem with this is that the spine is not straight and this could lead to misalignment. Additionally, slouching will also increase the risks of spinal disc injuries because the distribution of pressure on the discs is uneven.
Finding The Right Bed
While this might seem strange to people who are not tall, finding a bed that is the right size can be difficult for taller people. Most beds and mattresses are created with average heights in mind and when you are over this height, you will find that the bed is too short. This can cause problems when sleeping because the body is unable to fully extend during the night without running the risk of falling over the sides.
Many tall people will need to buy special mattresses which have a longer length. These mattresses will need to be purchased from specialist stores and will always cost more than normal beds. Additionally, bedrooms are not always created to have enough space for these larger beds.
Using More Resources
Taller people actually use more resources than shorter people which can increase their living costs. An example of the increased use of resources is the amount of water and soap needed when bathing. The larger area that has to be cleaned will require more soap which will deplete the resource faster.
Additionally, taller people will also generally have a larger appetite than a shorter person. This is due to the fact that their body needs more energy to maintain all the cells and body processes. This can increase the food bill that taller people face.
There are many advantages to being tall, but there are also many disadvantages. Taller people are more prone to certain disorders and diseases than shorter people. There are also some social issues that they have to contend with as well.