Why Do Tall People (Usually) die young?


There are several cases of above-standard-height people who passed away too early. From athletes, actors or any kind of human being with such singular characteristics.

As a matter of fact, a slight look at the tallest individuals list on Wikipedia indicates that just a small aggregated group of people reach their respectively 50th anniversary.

Hence, the answer for the question is neither simple nor unique. On the health department, experts indicate causes from heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood pressure among others.

Nevertheless, a rational statement regarding human progression, something is clear:

“Evolution is a blunt instrument. If growing to be 7 feet tall (2.13m) were advantageous to longevity, the world would be full of 7-footers. It’s not.” (Source: https://goo.gl/4zTHBU)

For instance, Neil Fingleton, who played a role in the series Game of Thrones (Mag the Mighty) – also known as the tallest British man – died at thirty-six years old earlier in 2017. Guessing his height? A seven-footer. Andre the Giant, seven-foot-four wrestler and actor, died from heart failure before completing his thirty-seventh birthday.

Within the Basketball world early departures are no strange topics either, unfortunately.

Manute Bol – the skinny-legged center with an impressive 2.31m (7-foot-7) height Sudanese retired at 36 due to rheumatism problems and passed away at 47 from kidney failure. The hard-and-ethical-worker Moses Malone (2.08m) died at 60 (in 2015) due to cardiovascular diseases.

Current Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Channing Frye (2.11m) and Jeff Green (2.06m) have had heart issues as well.

Additionally, the Boston Celtics’ All-Time great Larry Bird, NBA Hall of Fame said “I tell my wife all the time, ‘You don’t see many 7-footers walking around at the age of 75,’”, who’s 2.06m (or 6 foot 9) “She hates it when I say that. I know there are a few of us who live a long time, but most of us big guys don’t seem to last too long. I’m not lying awake at night thinking about it. If it goes, it goes.”

As so, according to the clinical professor Alexander Vortmeyer from Indiana University: “That’s the most common cause of death in these patients—heart failure” “The heart is more stretched to supply this huge person with blood.”

Another study indicated that every 16 centimeters (around 6 inches) increase in height is associated with a 50 percent increase in the chance of developing atrial fibrillation – most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia. (Source: https://goo.gl/puiZFb )

Lastly, one reason that taller people are more likely to die of many types of cancer is because they tend to have bigger organs, so there is a greater chance that one cell in the organ will become cancerous, Doctor David Batty said. (Source: https://goo.gl/iw8dM8)

On the other side, three Basketball references inside the painted area – Bill Walton (2.11m | 64 years old), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.18m | 70 years old) and Bill Russel (2.08m | 83 years old) all had health problems (with cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular issues) and still manage to inspire the youngsters.

Inspiring on distinctive ways. On the court: showing how relevant foot work is and keeping the fans aware that the number five position should not be under-valued. And, out of the court: displaying real examples of how crucial treating the body right is and why you should care about the former.

To conclude, there are several possible responses for the question made. However, neither case is 100% positively correlated with height and causes of death, as shown on the examples.