Background: Identification and modification of cardiovascular risk factors is paramount to reducing cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but its association with height remains largely underrecognized. Objectives: The objective of this manuscript is to review the evidence examining the association between blood pressure and human stature and to summarize the plausible pathophysiological mechanisms behind such an association. Methods: A systematic review of adult human height and its association with hypertension and coronary artery disease was undertaken. The literature evidence is summarized and tabulated, and an overview of the pathophysiological basis for this association is presented. Results: Shorter arterial lengths found in shorter individuals may predispose to hypertension in a complex hemodynamic interplay, which is explained predominantly by summated arterial wave reflections and an elevated augmentation index. Our systemic review suggests that an inverse relationship between adult height and blood pressure exists. However, differences in the studied populations and heterogeneity in the methods applied across the various studies limit the generalizability of these findings and their clinical application. Conclusion: Physiological studies and epidemiological data suggest a potential inverse association between adult height and blood pressure. Further research is required to define the relationship more clearly between adult height and blood pressure and to assess whether antihypertensive therapeutic approaches and goals should be modified according to patients' heights.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)