Tall men are good for a lot of things. They’ve got you covered when it comes to the jar of peanut butter on the top shelf, and they’re a ringer in pickup basketball.
But, when you think of tall men you probably don’t think of dementia. And you certainly are unlikely to think height may be associated with a lower risk of the vicious disease.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark may have found a fascinating link between height and risk of dementia. In fact, the taller you are, the better.
The scientists found that each 2.4 inch increase past 5-foot-7 translates into a 10% reduction in dementia risk among men. These findings also held true when comparing brothers and twins of different heights. They stressed that their research only included men; studies of this aspect of dementia in women may be done later.
So, how did the researchers come to this conclusion?
The team looked into the medical data of 666,000 men born between the years 1939 and 1959. The men had taken mental acuity exams when they joined the military and periodically after that. National registries had followed them until 2016. After accounting for factors such as education, the findings stood tall.
The team suggested that height alone may not be the key to their findings. A man’s short stature may reflect environmental conditions during his early life that could be the true risk factors for dementia.
While there is no cure for the nearly 50 million people who the World Health Organization estimates suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, every new piece of information adds a piece to solving the puzzle.