Being too short or tall ups depression risk in military men

PTI| Updated: Jul 24, 2014, 17:51 PM IST
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 Washington: Both short and tall men in the military are more at risk for depression than their uniformed colleagues of average height, a new study has found.

Despite their original hypothesis that shorter men in the military would be more psychologically vulnerable than their taller counterparts, researchers found that men both shorter and taller than average by one standard deviation may be predisposed to higher rates of depressive disorders.

Valery Krupnik from the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, California, and Mariya Cherkasova from McGill University Health Centre, Canada, studied the records of 196 males that had depression-related diagnoses from a mental health clinic serving active duty personnel.

The patients were grouped into three height groups and ranked based on the severity of their depressive disorder.

While height was related to the likelihood of having a depressive disorder, it did not correlate with anxiety disorders diagnoses.

"To our knowledge, there are no preventive programmes specifically targeting shorter or taller boys," researchers said.

 "We believe that such programmes implemented in school could be beneficial for them in developing higher resilience to the pressure of low social status based on body height," they said.

The study was published in the journal SAGE Open.