Positive Cardiometabolic Profile Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Taller People

Height is one of those factors which greatly influence one’s beauty and personality. Researchers from the German Center for Diabetes Research and the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke have come up with new and interesting research based on taller people and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Taller height being a beauty mark now has one more plus point, that is, with every 10 cm increase in height the chances of type 2 diabetes drop to 41% in males and 33% in females. The findings of the research appear “Associations of short stature and components of height with incidence of type 2 diabetes: mediating effects of cardiometabolic risk factors” in the journal Diabetologia.

Taller people show better insulin sensitivity

According to the researchers, diabetes and height are inversely proportional to each other based on less fat accumulation in the liver and the risk of cardio-related health issues. The factors which influence the cardiometabolic risk are “specifically blood fats, adiponectin, and C-reactive protein.”

Researchers selected 27,548 patients for the experiment. The participants were from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, which took place in Germany between 1994 and 1198.

16,644 of the participants were female (35-65) while 10,904 were males (40-65). The new research is based on a pre-existing study that linked short stature with a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes.

The fact that taller people show better functioning of the beta cells with improved insulin sensitivity was supported by the previous research. Other than the link between short stature and type 2 diabetes, researchers found another connection between short stature and increased risk of cardio infections.

The above-mentioned links may be due to factors associated with type 2 diabetes-like high blood pressure, accumulation of blood fats, and inflammation.

The new research focused on two different categories of height, leg length, and sitting height.

 Read also – Variation in Heights across the world – Which heights are considered attractive?

What researchers found in males was truly amazing! They found that men with longer leg lengths had reduced chances of type 2 diabetes. However, in females, they observed that with leg length, sitting height also influenced the results.

Analysis of the results

The analysis of the findings showed that in obese and overweight people with every 10 cm increase in height, the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced to 36% in males and 30 % in females.

Researchers wrote, “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 an energy imbalance.”

The findings suggest that the growing age before puberty plays an important role in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes than the growing age after puberty. While in women, growth before and after puberty both has a marked influence on the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In their analysis, researchers worked on cardiometabolic factors to understand the effect of them on the strong link between height and type 2 diabetes.

According to the calculations, liver fat played an important part that is with every 10 cm increase in height, the risk was dropped to 34 % in males and 13% in females.

Other than liver fat, other cardiometabolic factors which influenced the results were blood fats and glycated hemoglobin. However, a more noticeable effect of adiponectin and C-reactive protein was observed in females than males.

To sum up, a greater effect of this link was observed in the people who had low-fat content and a positive cardiometabolic profile.

The authors write, “Our study also suggests that early interventions to reduce height-related metabolic risk throughout life likely need to focus on determinants of growth in sensitive periods during pregnancy, early childhood, puberty, and early adulthood, and should take potential sex differences into account.”

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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