height measurement
New study links height to dementia deathwoodleywonderworks/Flickr

Height of a person can predict whether he or she will die from dementia, latest research shows.

Dementia is a syndrome related to the brain that leads to memory loss, difficulties in communicating, thinking, understanding, planning and performing daily routines.

Nearly 44 million people across the globe are estimated to be living with dementia and the number is expected to triple (135 million) by 2050.

In a study reported in British Journal of Psychiatry, people who were shorter than the average height had higher risk of dying from dementia than people who were taller.

Dr Tom Russ and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh in UK based their findings on 181,800 people. During the 10 years follow-up of the study, 1,093 people (men -426, women- 667) died from dementia.

Researchers noted that mortality rates associated with dementia went down with an increase in height. The link was stronger in men than women.

Men with a height of 5 feet 5 inches or shorter had 50 percent increased risk of mortality from dementia, than those who were 5 feet 8 inches or taller, The Telegraph reported.

Men who were 5 feet 9 inches or shorter had 24 percent increased risk of death from dementia than men who were 6 feet or taller. Similarly, having a height of 5 feet 1 inches, i.e. 156 cm increased a woman's risk of dying from dementia by 35 percent than a height of 5 feet 4 inches or 165 cm.

The authors said that certain factors during the early stages of growth including illness, poor nutrition and psychological stress contributed to this occurrence.

"Short height in itself of course does not 'cause' dementia. Rather, height captures a number of early life factors, including early-life illness, adversity, poor nutrition, and psychosocial stress, and so allows us to examine the effect of these factors on dementia more closely," co-author of the study Dr David Batty, of the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health at University College London, told The Telegraph.

Similar to the current study, several studies in the past have linked short height to low IQ, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

In an August study, researchers showed that marital success can be predicted from height of a person. Short men had late, but stable marriage and were at 32 percent reduced risk of divorce, while tall men married early and were at higher risk of getting divorced.