While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress. Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.
‘Short kids may have increased stroke risk as adults.
Researchers noted that a decline in stroke incidence and mortality rates in most high-income countries, primarily in women, occurred simultaneously with a general increase in attained adult height. Taken together, this suggests the involvement of shared underlying mechanisms for height and stroke development.
Researchers say these results have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction and future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.
"Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease," said senior study author Jennifer L. Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.