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Height loss in adulthood is associated with health outcomes in later life in men and women enrolled in the 1946 UK Birth Cohort (NSHD)


Matthes, Katarina; Staub, Kaspar (2023). Height loss in adulthood is associated with health outcomes in later life in men and women enrolled in the 1946 UK Birth Cohort (NSHD). medRxiv 23298098, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the relationship between height in childhood and relative height loss in adulthood, and to examine the association between height loss and health at age 69. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Data from one of the oldest ongoing cohort studies, the National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD, 1946 UK birth cohort) Participants: 2,119 study participants who completed the nurse home visit during the 24th and most recent available follow-up examination at age 69. Main outcome measures: Linear regression models to estimate the association between meas-ured height in childhood years relative height loss between ages 36 and 69. Logistic regression models using generalized additive models to estimate the probability of worse health at age 69 (chronic disease score, general health status, osteoarthritis, and pain while walking) in associa-tion with height loss. Results: Between the ages of 36 and 69, men lost an average of 2.03 cm and women 2.44 cm. Women lost significantly more height than men (p<0.001). The taller the participants were at a young age, the more height they lost in adulthood. There was a significant association between height loss in adulthood on the one hand and general health, chronic disease score (in men), osteoarthritis (in men), and walking pain at age 69. These findings largely persisted after adjust-ing the models for overweight, sociodemographic information, and lifestyle factors earlier in life. Conclusions: Height loss seems to mirror deteriorating health as people age. Height measurement and assessment of height loss should be part of regular examinations after the age of 40 to monitor general health status, especially in the case of severe height loss.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the relationship between height in childhood and relative height loss in adulthood, and to examine the association between height loss and health at age 69. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Data from one of the oldest ongoing cohort studies, the National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD, 1946 UK birth cohort) Participants: 2,119 study participants who completed the nurse home visit during the 24th and most recent available follow-up examination at age 69. Main outcome measures: Linear regression models to estimate the association between meas-ured height in childhood years relative height loss between ages 36 and 69. Logistic regression models using generalized additive models to estimate the probability of worse health at age 69 (chronic disease score, general health status, osteoarthritis, and pain while walking) in associa-tion with height loss. Results: Between the ages of 36 and 69, men lost an average of 2.03 cm and women 2.44 cm. Women lost significantly more height than men (p<0.001). The taller the participants were at a young age, the more height they lost in adulthood. There was a significant association between height loss in adulthood on the one hand and general health, chronic disease score (in men), osteoarthritis (in men), and walking pain at age 69. These findings largely persisted after adjust-ing the models for overweight, sociodemographic information, and lifestyle factors earlier in life. Conclusions: Height loss seems to mirror deteriorating health as people age. Height measurement and assessment of height loss should be part of regular examinations after the age of 40 to monitor general health status, especially in the case of severe height loss.

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Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2023
Deposited On:06 Nov 2023 15:15
Last Modified:06 Nov 2023 15:15
Series Name:medRxiv
ISSN:0959-535X
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.11.04.23298098
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)