Journal Article

Adult Height and Cause-specific Mortality: A Large Prospective Study of South Korean Men

Yun-Mi Song, George Davey Smith and Joohon Sung

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 5, pages 479-485
Published in print September 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg173
Adult Height and Cause-specific Mortality: A Large Prospective Study of South Korean Men

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To examine the relation of adult height with mortality, the authors conducted a cohort study of 386,627 middle-aged South Korean male civil servants from 1992 to 1998. An inverse association between height and all-cause mortality (14,003 deaths) was observed after adjustment for socioeconomic position and major behavioral risk factors. The adjusted relative risk for all-cause mortality associated with a 5-cm increment in height was 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.95, 0.98). There was little evidence of associations for coronary heart disease or overall cancer mortality. However, stomach cancer showed a weak inverse association that was attenuated after adjustment. Strong inverse associations with death from stroke, respiratory disease, and external causes were observed. The association with stroke mortality was specific for hemorrhagic stroke. The inverse associations observed between height and mortality suggest a possible effect of childhood environment on health. Variations in the associations by cause of death indicate that specific processes are involved. These data are consistent with those of other studies in suggesting that risk of hemorrhagic stroke is particularly influenced by adversity in early life. The lack of an association between height and coronary heart disease suggests that additional factors are required for short stature to translate into increased coronary heart disease risk.

Keywords: body height; cerebrovascular accident; coronary disease; men; mortality; neoplasms

Journal Article.  5245 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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