Blood clot risk, other health problems, may increase with height

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Height can be an independent predictor of your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, also known as blood clots, according to the study, published [September 5] in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

The new blood clot study involved data on more than 1.6 million Swedish men who enlisted in the military and were born between 1951 and 1992, and data on more than 1 million Swedish women who had a first pregnancy between 1982 and 2012. Pregnancy can increase the risk of blood clots.

The researchers found that the risk for blood clots decreased 69% for women shorter than about 5-foot-1, compared with women about 6 feet and taller. The risk dropped 65% for men shorter than about 5-foot-3, compared with men about 6-foot-2 and taller, the researchers found.

“The bottom line regarding this recent study, whether you are a taller or shorter individual, you must be aware of all the additional lifestyle factors that may increase your risk for blood clots, such as smoking or a sedentary lifestyle,” [Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, an NYU Langone Health physician] said. “We have no control over our height, but we certainly can all take the appropriate measures in making healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of various conditions.”

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