Kids who are shorter than average are at increased risk for stroke as adults, suggest results of a study conducted in Denmark and published in Stroke. According to researchers, the risk for ischemic stroke – stroke caused by a blood clot – is higher in men and women who were short as children, and the risk for hemorrhagic stroke – stroke caused by bleeding – is higher in men who were short in childhood.
Researchers got their data from a long-term study involving more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren born between 1930 and 1989. The children’s heights were measured at 7, 10, and 13 years of age. Kids who were 2 to 3 inches shorter than their peers had a higher risk of stroke risk in adulthood.
Although height is determined primarily by genetics, it is also influenced by the mother’s diet during pregnancy, diet in childhood, and overall physical and mental health. Several of these factors are believed to affect stroke risk.