Journal of Chinese Clinical Medicine Volume 5 | Number 2 | February 2010

Role of Height in Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease

Thomas T. Samaras


Findings are presented showing how height relates to cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The preponderance of evidence shows that height is positively correlated with cancer.  However, studies on height and CVD are not consistent, and the causes for this conflict are explored. The role of nutrition in promoting rapid growth, greater height and chronic diseases is also discussed. The interrelationships among increasing birth weight, rapid growth in height and weight, obesity, cancer and CVD are also reviewed. Biological mechanisms are presented to explain how height is related to cancer and CVD.

Key words: height; cancer; cardiovascular disease; nutrition; biological mechanisms; telomeres

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Findings supporting the counter intuitive thesis that smaller body size promotes greater health and longevity are reviewed.  In addition, the risks of promoting further growth through genetic manipulation are explored in relation to chronic disease and longevity. Supporting examples from animal research are also covered. The biological mechanisms that relate to height and longevity conclude the review.

Key words: longevity, nutrition, growth, body height, chronic disease

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