Big and tall can mean a whole lot more than having to buy your clothes in special stores and watch your head as you pass through doors.
For men, it can add up to serious health risk--and a new study finds that a combination of extra height and excess weight is a one-two punch that could increase the risk of potentially deadly blood clots.
Norwegian researchers checked the measurements of 26,714 people who were tracked for more than 12 years. During that time, 461 developed venous thromboembolism--a clot that forms in a deep vein, then can move towards and even into the lung.
More than 1 million Americans suffer these clots every year, and it kills 300,000 of them--mostly in hospitals.
But as the new study finds, hospitalization isn't the only risk factor... because in this case, size does matter--and the biggest risk goes to the biggest men.
The researchers say obese men taller than 5 feet 11.7 inches were five times more likely to suffer from one of these clots than shorter men of normal weight.
Tall men who had normal weights had 2.6 times the risk, while short men who weighed too much had a little more than double the risk, according to the study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
Women aren't off the hook here: Obese women had a slightly higher risk of the condition than women of normal weights, regardless of height.
Since weight is already known to be a risk factor for the condition, that's not a stunner (in fact, the real shock here is that obesity only causes a slight increase in risk in women).
Height, on the other hand, is a new one--and while it's not clear exactly why, the researchers believe it may be because blood must be pumped further by the calf- muscle pump in taller people, which can increase the risk of clotting.
But that wouldn't explain why taller women didn't share the risk.
In any case, there are things you should worry about... and things you shouldn't. And since there's nothing you can do about your height, you can safely put that on the second list.
Your belly, on the other hand, is completely within your control--and if you lose the weight, you'll do a whole lot more than lower your risk for blood clots.
You'll also slash the odds of diabetes, heart disease and maybe even broken furniture, too.