Author(s): Shimizu Y, Imano H, Ohira T, Kitamura A, Kitamura A
BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported that height and risk of stroke are inversely associated based on the hypothesis that height is a marker of childhood physical condition. However, a limited number of studies have taken account of the effect of current physical condition on the relationship between height and risk of stroke.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 12,222 40- to 69-year-old Japanese patients under systematic surveillance for stroke incidence. Because body mass index (BMI) is regarded as a surrogate marker of current physical condition for cardiovascular risk, we performed a stratified analysis of this risk based on BMI.
RESULTS: During the median 17-year follow-up, there were 565 incident strokes (326 ischemic and 186 hemorrhagic strokes) showing an inverse association between height and risk of stroke independent of classical cardiovascular risk factors. Compared with the lowest height group (<159 cm for men and <148 cm for women) as reference, the multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the highest height group (>166 cm for men and >154 cm for women) were 0.70 (95% CI 0.49-1.00; P = .043) for men and 0.44 (95% CI 0.27-0.70; P < .001) for women. When the analysis was restricted to those with BMI <23 kg/m(2), the associations were stronger for both hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.
CONCLUSIONS: Height was found to be inversely associated with risk of stroke for middle-aged Japanese men and women, especially with lower BMIs. Our findings suggest that childhood social and physical conditions may contribute to the development of stroke in adulthood because height is a surrogate marker of these conditions.Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism