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Higher lung disease risk if short

8th January 2010

Researchers at Nottingham University have said people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are 'more likely to be short'.


Their study covered 1,025,662 people aged over 35, the researchers explained in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Previous studies have demonstrated a definite connection between height and the danger of developing COPD. The researchers wanted to determine whether this was still the case now the standard of living has improved.

The study showed that people with COPD were 1.12cm shorter than the average. The researchers said that this lack of height may be evidence of a less wealthy upbringing.

They found the most pronounced connection in people aged between 35-49 years. This association was reduced according to the subjects' age.

The lowest height variation was in people aged over 90, with an average difference of 0.51cm.

It is thought that around 3.7 million people in the UK have COPD, which causes the lung tissue to become scarred. The disease is most often caused by smoking.

Richard Hubbard, professor of respiratory epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, who co-wrote the study, said: "There's a double whammy associated with deprivation. Poorer nutrition in the 'womb' and when growing up as a child can affect general growth and lung development."

"This is combined with an increased likelihood to live with families and peers who smoke - influencing the chance of taking up and sticking with the habit. We know that smoking is the principal cause of COPD and all of these factors combined could increase the risk even more," he added.

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Article Information

Title: Higher lung disease risk if short
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 13684
Date Added: 8th Jan 2010


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