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Short people at higher risk of heart problems

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LONDON (AP) — Height apparently matters when it comes to heart trouble.

A study out of Finland suggests short people have a 50 percent higher risk of having a heart problem or dying from one than tall people. But weight, blood pressure and smoking habits remain more important factors.

This is the first major review to confirm previous studies suggesting a link between height and heart troubles.

The Finnish experts considered patients' heights within the context of a particular country's population. On average, short people stood under 5 feet, 3 inches, while tall people were 5 feet, 9 inches and higher.

They suggest there could be several explanations for why short people might be more susceptible to heart problems, such as smaller arteries that could theoretically get clogged faster.

Still, one European expert says it's too early to say short people potentially have problematic hearts, saying that could unfairly stigmatize them.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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