Tall young men have a lower risk of developing dementia, according to a study of nearly 700,000 men.
For every 2.5 inch (6.5 cm) in height above average, the risk of memory predatory disease is reduced by 10 percent.
This would mean that men in England of 183 cm (6 ft) – above the average 175.3 cm (5 ft) – have slightly more than 10 percent less risk of dementia.
When the researchers compared men with their brothers, they discovered that genetics played only a ‘minor’ role in the development of dementia.
Tall young men have a lower risk of developing dementia, according to a study
The team from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark examined 666,333 men who had entered the country.
All men were born between 1939 and 1959 and were followed in the Danish national registers up to the age of 55 to 77 years old.
Length data was collected when the men were between 18 and 26 years old, because the height decreases slightly as people age.
The study, published in eLife, discovered that 10,599 men developed dementia later in their lives.
The findings show that men born in 1939 with a length of 5 ft 11 “(181.5 cm) had a 10 percent lower risk of dementia than men with an average length of 5 ft 9” (175 cm).
The same was true of a second analysis of men born in 1959 – those who were 185 cm tall had a 10 percent lower risk compared to the average height of 179 cm.
In 2010, the Office for National Statistics said the average man in England was 175.5 cm tall, BBC reported. This would mean that those around 11 meters had a 10 percent lower risk of dementia.
Correction for intelligence test scores and level of education – which is believed to offer both adults more resilience to cognitive decline – showed that the risk of dementia was only slightly reduced.
Principal author Terese Sara Høj Jørgensen, assistant professor at the university, said: “We wanted to see if body height in young men is associated with dementia diagnosis, while investigating whether intelligence test scores, level of education, and underlying environmental and genetic factors are shared by brothers, explain the relationship. “
The participants involved 70,608 brothers and 7,388 twin brothers.
Length was still linked to the risk of dementia when the researchers examined brothers of different heights, with a ‘small’ impact of genetics.
This suggests that genetics alone cannot explain why shorter men had a greater risk of dementia.
HOW TO DETECT ALZHEIMER’S
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills and the ability to perform simple tasks.
It is the cause of 60 to 70 percent of cases of dementia.
The majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 years and older.
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s.
The cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown. Those who have the APOE gene are more likely to develop late Alzheimer’s disease.
Signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty remembering newly learned information
- Mood and behavioral changes
- Suspicion about family, friends and professional caregivers
- More serious memory loss
- Difficulties with speaking, swallowing and walking
Stages of Alzheimer’s:
- Mild Alzheimer’s (early stage) – A person may function independently, but has memory impairment
- Moderate Alzheimer’s (middle stage) – Usually the longest stage, the person can confuse words, become frustrated or angry or have sudden behavioral changes
- Severe Alzheimer’s disease (late stage) – In the final stage, individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, have a conversation, and ultimately control movement
The double analysis showed comparable but inaccurate estimates.
Study senior author professor Merete Osler from the University of Copenhagen said: ‘Together our results point to a link between longer body length in young men and a lower risk of dementia in later life, which persists even when corrected for educational level and intelligence test scores. ”
She added: “Our analysis of the data related to brothers confirms these findings and suggests that the association may have common roots in early life environmental exposures that are unrelated to family factors shared by brothers.
The team was unable to explain their findings, which were only observing. But they put forward some theories based on earlier research.
Those who are longer have a higher level of growth hormone, which can play a role in maintaining cognitive function.
This suggests that growth in height may be an indicator of “cognitive reserve” – a theory that some people have the ability to maintain their memory and IQ despite the impact of aging.
Researchers do not know whether the same findings can be applied to women because they were not included in the study.
Short length has been linked to the development of dementia in a number of smaller studies.
Research in 2014 showed that short people are up to 50 percent more likely to die from dementia than the tallest.
The Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Center at the University of Edinburgh analyzed data from 18 studies with nearly 182,000 people between 1994 and 2008.
The length of participants was measured and other information, including social status and health history, was collected.
Of the 17,553 deaths during an average follow-up period of ten years, 1,093 were demented. The study found that the risk of dementia death was 50 percent higher in the shortest men compared to the longest.
There was a 24 percent increase in risk for every three centimeters of reduced height among those in the studies.
Researchers said the relationship between height and dementia was that a person’s physical stature could contain a number of “early life factors,” including early life disease, adversity, poor nutrition, and psychosocial stress.
Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common form, affects 850,000 people in the UK, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
About 5.7 million people live with the disease in the US, says the Alzheimer’s Association.