The taller a man is, the less likely he is to develop dementia:
While there are some known risk factors for developing dementia, such as genetics, there’s a lot experts still don’t know about why some people develop the disease. Now, a new study has found a surprising link between height in young adulthood and the risk of dementia. The study, which was published in the journal eLife, analyzed data on 666,333 Danish men born between 1939 and 1959 —including 70,608 brothers and 7,388 twins—from Danish national registries. Of those men, 10,599 developed dementia later in life.
The researchers looked at the men’s heights and found that there was about a 10 percent reduction in their risk of developing dementia for every six centimeters (about two inches) of height in men who were above the average height of five feet, nine inches. The relationship also existed when the researchers analyzed data for brothers who had different heights, which suggested genetics alone couldn’t explain why shorter men in the study had a larger risk of developing dementia. Researchers also adjusted for educational level and intelligence test scores.
Worth noting: The scientists aren’t sure how this applies to women, given that they only studied men. Previous studies also found that the link between height and dementia risk in women was inconclusive. “We cannot say for sure if our results apply to women,” senior author Merete Osler, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But we find it likely that the mechanism described above would be the same for women.”
This isn’t the first time height has been linked to dementia risk. One meta-analysis, published in 2014, analyzed height and deaths from dementia and found that taller people were less likely to die of the disease. A case-control study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that taller men (those who were five feet, nine inches or more) had a 59 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than men who were shorter than five feet, five inches.