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Longer legs are associated with greater risk of incident venous thromboembolism independent of total body height. The Longitudinal Study of Thromboembolism Etiology (LITE).

TitleLonger legs are associated with greater risk of incident venous thromboembolism independent of total body height. The Longitudinal Study of Thromboembolism Etiology (LITE).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLutsey PL, Cushman M, Heckbert SR, Tang W, Folsom AR
JournalThromb Haemost
Volume106
Issue1
Pagination113-20
Date Published2011 Jul
ISSN2567-689X
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Anthropometry, Body Height, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Leg, Male, Middle Aged, Population Groups, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, United States, Venous Thromboembolism
Abstract

Several studies have reported that taller individuals are at greater risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). We hypothesised that longer leg length would be positively associated with incident VTE, and would explain the height association. LITE ascertained VTE in a prospective population-based sample of 21,860 individuals aged 45 and older. Leg length was measured as standing height minus torso length. Cox regression models were adjusted for age, race, sex, waist circumference, diabetes, and factor VIII. To evaluate whether leg length was associated with VTE risk independent of height, we standardised leg length and height per 1 standard deviation (SD), and then included them simultaneously in Cox regression models. A total of 641 incident VTE cases accrued over a median follow-up of 16 years. Participants in the highest quintile of leg length were at 59% (95% CI: 22%-108%) greater risk of VTE, relative to the lowest quintile. For height, risk was 45% (12%-88%) greater for those in the highest quintile, compared to the lowest. When leg length and height were modelled simultaneously leg length remained associated with VTE risk (HR per 1 SD: 1.21 (1.04-1.40) while height was unrelated (HR per 1 SD: 1.00 (0.86-1.16). To conclude, participants with longer legs were at greater risk of incident VTE, and leg length explained the relation of height to VTE. It remains to be established whether this finding is due to greater venous surface area, a larger number of venous valves, or greater hydrostatic pressure among individuals with longer legs.

DOI10.1160/TH11-02-0100
Alternate JournalThromb Haemost
PubMed ID21655679
PubMed Central IDPMC3180885
Grant ListHHSN268201100012C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL059367-11 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-80007 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85085 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100010C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL080295 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005G / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85081 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL059367 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01 HC015103 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL59367 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01HC55222 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85086 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01HC85086 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85082 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100006C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01 HC-55222 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85083 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-75150 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85080 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01HC75150 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85079 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01HC85079 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01 HC045133 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01 HC035129 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85084 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States