Every morning I receive an automatic email at work listing the day’s media highlights about health issues. Yesterday morning, the following was staring me in the face:
Short people more prone to heart disease: study
Short people are 50 per cent more likely than tall people to die prematurely of heart disease, researchers reported Wednesday in a major review of three million people.
Well isn’t that just really, really good news?
Anyone reading this knows that I am very barely 5 feet tall. Perhaps 5’1” on a good day. Maybe 5’4” if you count my high-heeled pumps. In any case, not tall. And now there’s a whole new reason to be pissed about that fact. Not just one reason, but 50 reasons – 50% more likely?! What the eff?!
To share my misery, I emailed the story around. I received the following responses.
First, from my husband:
And then from my mother-in-law:
Oh, for heaven’s sake
Other friends decided to poke some fun.
Yes, but tall(ish) people are more likely to look like stupid giants in photos - and that's a life-long curse.
Skewed study. They are also 50 per cent more likely to live longer owing to (no) risk of knocking heads on door jambs.
And then this:
Another major advantage for short people is that they can pretty much cross the street whenever they want, just the tires to watch out for.
And finally, I received this pleasant pick-me-up:
To quote Randy Newman: "Short people got no reason to live"
That’s nice, eh? Just hilarious. And just what I need - to feel even more pathetic about the fact that “short stature” will be added to the list of “known heart disease risk factors” alongside obesity, old age, high cholesterol, and smoking.
They don’t even know why being short threatens my heart. One theory for it: short people have smaller arteries.
But my friend has a better theory: short people are closer to the counter top, closer to the tabletop, and on eye-level with the refrigerator shelves, and therefore have easier access to food, and therefore over-eat, and therefore get obese, and therefore have heart attacks.
It doesn’t matter. I'm just wondering if scientists shouldn't have better things to research? Not that heart disease isn’t important, just that perhaps we should nail down the things we CAN change in trying to avoid it. Height is not something I can alter. It isn’t a lifestyle choice. I can’t quit short.
Whatever. The fact is, I may be short, but I’m not that short. I’m not under 5 feet, which, apparently, is the starting point for the heart-disease danger zone. Either way, I so do not need yet another reason to feel bad about being miniature. I guess I’ll just hope that wearing heels will totally negate any health risks posed by shortness. (Except for my knees – heels are probably bad for my knees.)