February is Heart and Stroke Month, so I thought I’d look at some of the weird risks supposedly linked to heart disease. Apparently, if you are short you are more at risk. According to a recent Finnish study at the University of Tampere, short people have a bigger chance of getting heart disease – 1.5 times more than taller individuals (men 37 per cent and women 55 per cent). The considered short heights here are under 5′ for women and under 5’5″ for men.This one may bother me (well, just a little) because I’m short but just scrape by the height requirements at 5’1″. My late Mom was also short (same height). She died of a brain aneurysm and although I blame that on her falls from her arthritis, I’m also wondering if her height (or lack of) had something to do with it. Consider: if she was taller, would she have still fallen off a bench, down a couple of stairs?
What bothers me more than a little is my son is 5’4″ – an inch below the male criteria. However, his dad is 5’8” so maybe that will help. Maybe not, as there is a history of cardiovascular disease from my son’s paternal grandparents down to his dad. One of his maternal grandmothers died of a heart attack at 86. So, what do we have here?
Let’s see what that study and its lead author say.
The lead author of this study isn’t too concerned with the height aspect. Dr. Tuula Paajanen says short individuals shouldn’t worry – this is just one of the risk factors – but instead they should concentrate on lifestyle issues. Oh, that’s great. Now I don’t have to do extreme stretching exercises or eat eat eat. I’m to old for all this. However, I can’t help wondering if singer-songwriter Randy Newman had an inkling of all this when (years ago) he wrote the song Short People, where among other things, he says short people have little hands and little eyes. Check out the lyrics at http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/short-people-lyrics-randy-newman/3244f1d30051f75e48256a370048b6fa and see what you think.
But the weird list of causes doesn’t stop here. Some of the following are bogus, but for hypochondriacs, here’s something to get your worry warts around:
1. Earlobe creases
2. Leg Length in women
3. Ring Finger Length
4. Male Pattern Baldness
5. Gum Disease – truth in this one per several studies
6. Clear skin yes – acne as teenager no per study
7. Discoloured mucus (green) per recent study pub in Biochemical Journal
8. Earwax – per a 1966 Japanese study, since debunked as false
The whole list and information about each is at http://ezinearticles.com/?Cardiovascular-Risk-May-Be-Indicated-by-Some-Unusual-Factors&id=4094952
As for that shorty study, check out these articles at http://www.canada.com/health/Short+people+more+prone+heart+disease+Study/3131424/story.html and http://www.physorg.com/news195243612.html
Me, I’m headed for my Yoga class this evening. And when the weather warms up a bit, I’ll be out there walking, walking, and walking. And I’m being careful on benches and stairs.
Only Child Writes