London: In a new study, University of Nottingham researchers have found that individuals who develop chronic lung disease are more likely to be shorter in height than the general population.
To reach the conclusion, boffins analyzed more than one million people aged over 35, reports The BBC.
According to the researchers, who reported the finding in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the lack of height may be a "marker" that people have come from a poorer background.
After analyses, experts found that those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) were 1.12cm shorter on average.
Richard Hubbard, professor of respiratory epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, who co-authored the study said: "There`s a double whammy associated with deprivation.
"Poorer nutrition in the ``womb`` and when growing up as a child can affect general growth and lung development.
"This is combined with an increased likelihood to live with families and peers who smoke - influencing the chance of taking up and sticking with the habit.
"We know that smoking is the principal cause of COPD and all of these factors combined could increase the risk even more."
Professor Mike Morgan, chairman of the British Thoracic Society, said: "We need to make it easier for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to make positive life choices and improvements to their health - whether it be eating well or stopping smoking.
"GPs and primary care professionals could also look out for height alongside smoking status and other chronic lung disease symptoms, to ensure that the disease is caught early."