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This article is in no way biased against tall people as I am one of these people and I know what everyone must be thinking right now. However I hate to be the bearer of the bad news, but curiosity got the best of me. Which lead me to research tall people health problems and the associated risks.
Many products are sold in the market with the tagline ‘Give your children this and see noticeable growth in their height.’ Many people actively try to grow taller during puberty without understanding the full scope.
However, people need to understand that being taller may come with risks later on in life. Yes, being tall is often linked with attractiveness, and it gives a sense of confidence to you, but it has its downfalls as well. I am not talking about hitting your head either. I am talking about real, health concerns. So without wasting any more time let’s get into the tall peoples health problems and real concerns.
The scariest of health problems for anyone has to be cancer. It’s the ‘C’ word nobody wants to hear from their Doctor. But unfortunately, many people die from cancer every year and being tall does come with its associated cancer risks. Here’s why.
According to a review paper published in 2016 in the Lancet, Diabetes, and Endocrinology, for every two and a half inches of height, the risk of dying from cancer increases by four percent. When a person has a tall height, this may lead to over nutrition.
This can be from consuming high-calorie proteins, especially those present in animals. As a result, the growth process is activated which leaves the cell susceptible to mutation. Another theory says that tall people also have larger organs due to which the cells are at risk of vulnerability.
Higher Number Of Blood Clots
According to a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics back in September 2017, a link between height and venous thromboembolism was found. Which is the third leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
The subjects of that study were more than 2 million Swedish siblings, and they found out that men who were shorter than 5’3″ had a lower risk of developing venous thromboembolism. If we are being precise, they had a 65% lower risk. Since this type of blood clot can be triggered during pregnancy, the study also found out that pregnant women shorter than 5’1″ had a 69% lower risk as compared to those who were of 6′ and taller.
Heart Problems Tall People Face
Studies have found links between height and 2 common heart problems tall people face. They are Marfan Syndrome and Atrial Fibrillation. Both can be very serious conditions and should be brought to a Doctors attention as soon as symptoms are felt.
Especially if someone in your Family Tree has Marfan Syndrome as it’s usually an inherited condition. AF on the other hand can happen to anyone, but studies have shown that taller people are more at risk. So if your heart beat starts acting erratically, consult a Doctor immediately. While the condition can be a once off, it’s best to seek medical advice.
Pregnancy Problems Tall Women Can Face
This one is just for the ladies. Women who are taller than most are more likely to have a longer pregnancy as compared to shorter women. According to a study, women whose height was 5 feet or shorter than that were more likely to give birth before their due date arrived as compared to tall women who were 5 feet 8 inches or taller.
Moreover, if two women had a difference of one centimeter, the woman who had a shorter height gave birth one-fifth of a day sooner. Though scientists aren’t exactly sure as to why this happens, it could be linked with the larger size of some parts of body, such as cervix or the pelvis.
Tall People Don’t Live As Long
Since being tall is associated with more long term diseases, people who have a short height have a longer life expectancy. The research on this is still being conducted, but some areas they have focused on include the size of organs of human body. Organs like the liver, brain, and kidneys, the levels of hormones and total damage which is done to cells.
For males, the odds of a longer life are significantly lower from birth. This is because males on average have a greater height of about 8 inches. These are some of the theories as to why shorter people live longer.
Longer Recovery Time From Injuries
Tall people are not only susceptible to injuries, but those injuries are likely to be more severe as compared to people who are shorter than them. According to studies, people who are thin and tall are likely to take more time to recover.
This is because their nerve impulses have a larger area to cover. And this can be very well understood by tall athletes. If two athletes, one of tall height and the other of short height, are going to suffer the same injury, the former athletes will take a longer time to recover than the latter athletes. Since they have a tall height, due to which their center of gravity is higher, could be the reason.
As a result, tall people have a more chance of falling. Not just that, they might also do it with a lot of force. Which does make you wonder if being tall and a faster runner is worth it.
Let’s discuss some disadvantages of being a tall person which have nothing to do with health:
Lack of leg room for most sitting down operations
Who made the car cabin space so short?. Tall people can never fit in a car very easily.
More likely to bang your head on doorway frames and for very tall people, hitting your head on the ceiling is a daily occurrence.
Less approachable: People can be intimidated by you even if you are not trying to do so.
“Sit Down”. But you are sitting down… No one will be able to see if they sit behind yo.
Health Benefits Of Being Tall
By now you may have become somewhat disappointed in your genes and for being a tall individual. But it’s not all doom and gloom, I promise you. Besides the health risks with being tall, on the other end of the spectrum there are benefits to being tall as well.
And no, I am not talking about the fact that you can easily reach the upper shelf and show off while your siblings have to keep God knows how many supports to reach there. I am talking about the actual health benefits of being tall.
Lower heart disease risk
But wait, didn’t I just go on say how tall people are prone to heart problems?. Well, yes, for two common problems associated with the heart, but there’s a flip side to that as well.So go figure.
When people talk about coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, studies have revealed that tall people are less likely to get it. Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes this but individuals who have a height which is shorter than 5’3” could suffer from coronary heart disease 50% more. The reason could be that short people had infections before they were born or during their childhood when they were growing up.
Lower risk of Dementia
For this, the credit goes to the University of Edinburgh as it was them who conducted a study on dementia and found out that shorter people show a higher risk of death from dementia. When the study was conducted keeping taller people in view, it showed a lower risk of people dying from dementia.
Tall Women May Have Lower Risks Of Diabetes
Tall women need to rejoice as according to a publishing in journal Obesity Reviews, studies show that taller women may not develop type 2 diabetes. Another data which carried on for five years and was based on 6000 adults found out that tall people in general are less likely to get it.Now that we have discussed some health benefits of having a tall height, let’s read some benefits which have nothing to do with health:
Taller people have been proven to be more successful and make more money per inch of height.
First to be noticed and often found attractive simply because of your height
Less likely to fall off a step stool as more often than not, your height will be sufficient.