Nav: Home

Poor lung function in shorter people linked to increased risk of heart disease

March 29, 2019

Results from a study led by researchers from Queen Mary University of London has found that an association between shorter stature and higher risk of heart disease is mainly attributed to our lungs.

In the study, published in the journal Communications Biology, researchers examined over 800 places in the human genome known to be associated with adult height and also evaluated data suggesting that lower height increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The authors found no evidence of a causal link between height and type 2 diabetes risk once an individual's body mass index was taken into account but reported a causal relationship between height and heart disease risk.

Many traditional risk factors for heart disease were investigated including, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, fat percentage, and socio-economic parameters including education and income, but results showed that they only account for a very small part of the effect of height on heart disease risk. The way our lungs function accounted for most of this effect.

Lead author, Dr Eirini Marouli from Queen Mary University of London said: "Understanding the causal relationship behind an observation such as the inverse relationship between adult height and heart disease risk is important in advancing our knowledge about the disease and has the potential to point towards lifestyle interventions that can impact disease prevention.

"Our results suggest that we need to assess lung function alongside someone's height to have a better handle in predicting their risk in developing heart disease."

Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Nearly one in six men and one in ten women die from heart disease, therefore identifying heart disease risk factors, especially those that could be modified through early lifestyle interventions, is specifically important.

According to Professor Panos Deloukas from Queen Mary University of London, senior author of the study: "Individuals of shorter statute can consider regular exercise and the avoidance of a sedentary lifestyle and smoking to reduce their risk of heart disease given that, as we showed in this study, the effect of shorter height on the risk of heart disease is mediated by lung function.

"Our findings and further studies of this nature, empower efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle and in particular physical activity that can lead to improved lung function."
-end-
For more information, please contact:

Joel Winston
Public Relations Manager (School of Medicine and Dentistry)
Queen Mary University of London
j.winston@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7943 / +44 (0)7968 267 064

Notes to the editor

Research paper: Mendelian randomisation analyses find pulmonary factors mediate the effect of height on coronary artery disease, by Eirini Marouli et al. Communications Biology

Queen Mary University of London

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...