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Short children face greater risk of suffering stroke as adults


A male child.

Short children are at greater risk of suffering a stroke later in life, according to new research.

Being two to three inches shorter growing up raised the likelihood of the disease in both men and women. The discovery follows research by British scientists showing the vertically challenged are at increased risk of a heart attack.

The latest findings were based on more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren born between 1930 and 1989.

Those who were two inches shorter than average at seven, 10 and 13 were 11 per cent more likely to have an ischaemic stroke as adults than their taller peers.

This is the most common form of the disease where a clot blocks blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Most cases were diagnosed between the ages of 55 and 75.

Men, who were short as children were also 11 percent more likely to suffer a stroke triggered by bleeding on the brain, called an intracerebral haemorrhage. This did not apply to women.

The researchers say the results published in Stroke have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction.

They said future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T.:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.

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