A new study pubID-10079958lished in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that shorter stature may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Researchers gathered genetic data from nearly 200,000 individuals and found that every extra 2.5 inches reduced the risk of heart disease by 13.5%. According to Professor Sir Nilesh Samani from the University of Leicester, this risk of heart disease is small in comparison to major risk factors such as smoking, but the risk is not of little importance. The study also found that the genes linked to shorter stature may also be contributing to an increase in low-density cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. While a genetically-determined shorter stature is linked with a higher risk of heart disease, it is still beneficial for everyone, regardless of height, to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent cardiovascular disease. What is the best approach to discussing lifestyle modifications with your patients? 

For more information, please see BBC and NEJM.

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