Greater height is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online in Diabetologia.
Clemens Wittenbecher, Ph.D., from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in Nuthetal, and colleagues conducted a case-control study involving 26,437 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study who provided blood samples. A random subcohort of 2,500 individuals was selected; of the 820 incident diabetes cases identified during seven years of follow-up, 698 remained in the analyses.
The researchers found that greater height correlated with lower diabetes risk after adjustment for age, potential lifestyle confounders, education, and waist circumference (hazard ratio for 10 cm, 0.59 and 0.67 for men and women, respectively). There was a correlation for leg length with lower risk among men and women; after adjustment for total height, this correlation remained only among men. The associations between height and diabetes risk were attenuated after adjustment for liver fat and triacylglycerols, adiponectin, and C-reactive protein, especially among women.
"We found an inverse association between height and risk of type 2 diabetes among men and women, which was largely related to leg length as a component of total height among men," the authors write. "Part of this inverse association may be driven by the associations of greater height with lower liver fat content and a more favorable profile of cardiometabolic risk factors."
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