A new study titled “Divergent Associations Of Height With Cardiometabolic Disease And Cancer: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, And Global Implications” and published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology has suggested that tall people have a lower tendency for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, but have higher risks of developing cancers – according to researchers from the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and scientists from Harvard School of Public Health.
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Almost everyone knows that height in individuals is genetically determined, but scientists observe that children and adults are growing taller within the past decade, with Dutchmen in the Netherlands now 20 cm taller than they were 150 years ago – maybe because they are the largest consumers of milk and dairy products in the world – but this is what scientists want to establish – the link between height and non-communicable diseases.
The idea for this association prompted German scientists from DZD, notably Professor Norbert Stefan and Professor Hans-Ulrich Häring of the Department of Internal Medicine IV in Tübingen, and the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Tübingen (IDM), and Professor Matthias Schulze of the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam (DIfE), together with Professor Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health and Medical School in Boston in the USA to investigate this link.
The researchers were committed to analyzing the medical causes and effects of height on the risks for developing non-communicable diseases.
“Epidemiological data show that per 6.5 cm in height the risk of cardiovascular mortality decreases by six percent, but cancer mortality, by contrast, increases by four percent,” said Professor Schulze.
The team of researchers ultimately agreed that over-nutrition plays a role in height – notably over-consumption of high-calorie animal protein during various stages of growth – a situation that triggers the body to become more aware of insulin action, and thereby activating the action of lipid metabolism.
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“Accordingly, our new data show that tall people are more sensitive to insulin and have lower fat content in the liver, which may explain their lower risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” Professor Stefan added, “but consequently raising their risks for cancers.”