Shorter legs raise risk of liver disease

Washington, Dec 18: Having short legs may not be a good thing, especially for your liver say researchers who found that there is a link between short legs and an increased risk of liver disease.

This research adds to the evidence linking leg length and health and is based on nearly 4300 women between the ages of 60 and 79, who had been randomly selected from 23 British towns.

The researchers measured standing and seated height to include leg and trunk length, and took blood samples in order to measure levels of four liver enzymes, ALT, GGT, AST and ALP.

These enzymes tell how well the liver is working and if it has been damaged.

ALP is also an indicator of bone disease, such as osteoporosis.

Detailed information was gathered from women about their medical history, lifestyle, and social class, all of which probably influence health and stature.

However, complete information was available for just over 3600 of the women.

The analysis showed that the longer the leg length, the lower were levels of ALT, GGT, and ALP.

Particularly, ALT levels were lowest among the women with the longest legs.

ALT and ALP were highest among those women with the shortest trunk length.

The results proved to be true after adjusting for influential factors such as age, childhood social class, adult alcohol consumption, exercise, and smoking.

However, after excluding those women who already had liver cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or osteoporosis, the results remained the same.

“Our interpretation of the results is that childhood exposures, such as good nutrition that influence growth patterns also influence liver development and therefore levels of liver enzymes in adulthood and/or the propensity for liver damage, ” said the authors of the study.

They added that the size of the liver my get enhanced with greater height, which in turn may decrease enzyme levels to ensure that the liver is able to endure chemical attack much more effectively.

They also said that there may be common factors also with the increased risks of other diseases, as ALT, GGT, AST and ALP are also associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (ANI)