Short stature is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). Tall stature is associated with a lower risk, with each 10 cm difference in height associated with a 41% decreased risk of diabetes in men and a 33% decreased risk in women.
Short stature has been linked to higher risk of diabetes in several studies, suggesting that height could be used to predict the risk for the condition. It has been reported that insulin sensitivity and beta cell function are better in taller people. Short stature is related to higher cardiovascular risk, a risk that might in part be mediated by cardiometabolic risk factors relevant to type 2 diabetes - for example blood pressure, blood fats and inflammation.
The findings suggest that short people might present with higher cardiometabolic risk factor levels and have higher diabetes risk compared with tall people. Specifically, liver fat contributes to the higher risk among shorter individuals and, because height appears to be largely unmodifiable during adulthood, interventions to reduce liver fat may provide alternative approaches to reduce risk associated with shorter height.