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How human height predicts their risk of cancer, heart disease


Length of fingers linked to over 40 diseases

Recent study has found that the size of various parts of the human body serves as a clue to know if they are at risk of a range of diseases, such as gout, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. While study showed that the length of one’s fingers has been linked to more than 40 diseases and personality traits, the latest study in the American Journal of Human Biology showed that women with index fingers longer than their ring fingers (thought to be caused by exposure to oestrogen) tend to go through menopause later than those with longer ring fingers.

While in some cases, the dimensions of certain body parts are determined by conditions in the womb or during childhood, others can be a result of lifestyle as an adult.Here are some measurements suggested by experts that could provide clues to ones health.
Leg-to-body ratio

This is the length of your legs compared to the length of your torso. On how to go about the measurement, one must first, measure your height. Then sit down and measure your torso, from the top of your head to where your bottom meets the chair. Subtract your torso length from total height to give leg length: this then gives you the leg to body ratio.


Researchers, in a review in the International Journal of Environmental Research And Public Health, said the potential risk of having relatively short legs compared to your body length may increase the risk for being overweight or having heart disease, type 2 diabetes and liver problems.

While those with relatively long legs are more likely to have prostate and testicular cancers, as well as pre-menopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer and colon cancer, according to the authors from Loughborough University.Meanwhile, those with the longest legs compared to their torsos have a 20 percent lower risk of dementia, according to a study from King’s College London, published in the journal PLoS One.

Researchers added that longer legs compared with torso length is a sign of rapid growth and good nutrition during childhood, while relatively short legs imply slower growth and negative environmental factors, including bad diet, poverty and maternal smoking in pregnancy.

They noted that the theory of positive benefits of longer legs shows that it is a marker of good nutrition and may also reflect an increase in brain cells, creating a greater mental ‘reserve’ more able to deal with the effects of dementia.“Leg length is a marker of early life nutritional programming, which may confer brain reserve and protect against neurodegeneration in later life,” the researchers wrote in the journal PLoS One.

According to a study by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, U.S, people with longer legs are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while those with the shortest legs had a 20 percent increased risk of disease. “One theory is that inadequate nutrition in the first years of life may cause long-term problems that affect the body’s sensitivity to, leading to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,” the study added.

Head size
According to statistics, the circumference of the average man’s head is 58.4cm, while the average woman’s is 56cm.On how to measure it – using the tape, wrap it around your head, using the most prominent part of your forehead above the brows and the widest part of the back of your head.On the potential risks, experts say a smaller head size may be linked to an increased risk of dementia.

They noted that people with relatively smaller heads were 2.1 times more likely to have dementia, according to a study involving 2,500 older people by the National University Hospital in Singapore.The second study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuro-psychology found that people with smaller head circumferences and low education were four times more likely to have dementia.
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According to the researchers, one theory is that, as human brains reach 93 per cent of their full size by the age of six, good brain cell development in these early years may provide a buffer for later in life. Writing in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the Singapore researchers said: “A smaller head circumference, indicating a smaller cranial volume, hinders the maturity of the brain, which affects the ability to build up a cognitive reserve that can act as a protective factor against dementia in later life’.

This is a comparison of waist and hip circumference. It is calculated by dividing your waist measurement in inches by your hip measurement. For example, someone with a 30-inch waist and 38-inch hips has a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.78.The potential risks, according to the World Health Organisation, is a healthy ratio for women is 0.85 or less, and for men, 0.9 or less.

Experts note that people with this type of ratio face more health risks than those who have more weight on the hips. Also, many studies have shown that accumulation of fat around the waist results in a more significant risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer.


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