Height and risk of sudden cardiac death: The atherosclerosis risk in communities and cardiovascular health studies

Michael A. Rosenberg, Faye L. Lopez, Petra Bůžková, Selcuk Adabag, Lin Y. Chen, Nona Sotoodehnia, Richard A. Kronmal, David S. Siscovick, Alvaro Alonso, Alfred Buxton, Aaron R. Folsom, Kenneth J. Mukamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an important cause of mortality in the adult population. Height has been associated with cardiac hypertrophy and an increased risk of arrhythmias but also with decreased risk of coronary heart disease, suggesting a complex association with SCD. Methods: We examined the association of adult height with the risk of physician-adjudicated SCD in two large population-based cohorts: the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Results: Over an average follow-up time of 11.7 years in Cardiovascular Health Study, there were 199 (3.6%) cases of SCD among 5556 participants. In Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, over 12.6 years, there were 227 (1.5%) cases of SCD among 15,633 participants. In both cohorts, there was a trend toward decreased SCD with taller height. In fixed effects meta-analysis, the pooled hazard ratio per 10 cm of height was 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.98; P= .03. The association of increased height with lower risk of SCD was slightly attenuated after inclusion of risk factors associated with height, such as hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy. The association appeared stronger among men than women in both cohorts. Conclusions: In two population-based prospective cohorts of different ages, greater height was associated with lower risk of SCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179.e2
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by contracts HHSN268201200036C, HHSN268200800007C, N01 HC55222, N01HC85079, N01HC85080, N01HC85081, N01HC85082, N01HC85083, N01HC85086, and grant HL080295 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, with additional contribution from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Additional support was provided by AG023629 from the National Institute on Aging. A full list of principal CHS investigators and institutions can be found at http://www.chs-nhlbi.org/ .


  • Body height
  • Cardiac
  • Death
  • Risk factors
  • Sudden


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