Is height associated with cardiovascular risk in Chinese adults?

Epidemiology. 2007 Mar;18(2):274-8. doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000254656.02400.27.


Background: Better childhood conditions, proxied by greater height, are usually protective against ischemic heart disease in western countries. These relations are less evident in other settings.

Methods: We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the relation of height to the metabolic syndrome and its components in a rapidly developed Asian population using a representative, cross-sectional Hong Kong Chinese sample of 2860 adults from 1994 to 1996.

Results: Height was inversely associated with increased blood pressure (odds ratio = 0.74; 95% confidence interval = 0.58-0.94) and raised fasting plasma glucose (0.71; 0.55-0.91), but only after adjustment for central obesity. Central obesity was also positively associated with height (2.09; 1.67-2.62) for tallest compared with shortest tertile, confounding these relationships. The association between height and central obesity was much stronger in men than in women.

Conclusion: The relation of height to cardiovascular risk may relate to a society's history and stage of socioeconomic development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Body Height*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Hong Kong / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL