Does Height Contribute To Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

Your height might put you at risk of having diabetes. Researchers found that shorter people have higher chances of developing the disease compared to tall ones. 

The new study, published in the journal Diabetologia, analyzed the diabetes risk of people standing under 5'2" (157.8 cm) to above 5'6" (168.1 cm) for women and under 5'6" (169.7 cm) to above 5'11" (180.3 cm) for men. Researchers focused on their sitting height and leg length. 

The team said that in men, every 10cm of extra height might give 41 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, while women might have a 33 percent decreased risk, The Sun reported Monday. However, shorter people appeared with the highest risk of having the disease.

The study involved nearly 26,000 people and compared the heights and diabetes risk of middle-aged men and women. They also looked at the participants’ age, lifestyle, education and waist circumference.

The researchers said shorter people are more likely to have diabetes potentially because of higher liver fat content and other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance. 

"This may indicate that a higher diabetes risk with larger waist circumference counteracts beneficial effects related to height, irrespective of whether larger waist circumference is due to growth or due to consuming too many calories," the researchers said. 

Liver fat is known for contributing to the development of the disease. The researchers said health experts should include height to the screening process to determine a person’s risk of diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.

However, it might be too early for shorter people to panic and believe that they are destined for diabetes, according to Gail Melkus, associate dean for research in NYU's Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

"I think that the conclusions have to be cautiously interpreted because it's a secondary data analysis, meaning they didn't get a group of people and follow them going forward," Melkus told CNN.

Melkus added tall people should also continue having healthy lifestyle since they might still become at risk of developing type 2 diabetes despite the findings of the German study. 

Type 2 diabetes is known to be common in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates one in every 10 Americans would develop the disease. 

People Study suggests your height may contribute to your risk of having diabetes. Pixabay