Shorter adults likelier to die from dementia in later life

A new research has revealed that short people are at greater risk of dying from dementia in later life.

London: A new research has revealed that short people are at greater risk of dying from dementia in later life.

Senior author, David Batty, said that short height in itself of course does not 'cause' dementia, the Daily Express reported.

Batty added that rather, height captures a number of early life factors, including early-life illness, adversity, poor nutrition, and psychosocial stress, and so allows them to examine the effect of these factors on dementia more closely.

Lead author, Tom Russ, added that in these analyses in which they grouped together 18 studies, they found that shorter adult height was associated with an increased risk of subsequent dementia death and that this association was stronger in men than it was in women.

Russ said that the association between height and dementia death remained when they took into account early life or adult socio-economic status and other relevant factors, including obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and long-standing illness.

The authors concluded that the possibility that early life factors could relate to dementia risk needs to be further examined, and public health policies to improve early life conditions should continue on a broad front, including pre-school education, improved parenting schemes and vaccination programmes.

Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said that separating cause from effect is a big challenge of observational studies, but the findings of this well controlled research encourage people to focus on early life, which influences adult height, as a small contributing factor to later dementia risk, particularly in men.

The study is published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. 


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