Short patients less likely to survive ICU

Not to heighten patients’ anxiety, but a recent study shows stature affects mortality chances in ICU

Being short may be a health hazard, at least in ICU, where mortality is greatest among the most height-challenged patients, recent findings suggest.

A study of more than 400,000 critically ill patients shows that being shorter is associated with an increased risk of dying in hospital.

After adjusting for confounding factors, hospital mortality decreased with increasing height, according to the analysis of data collected from 210 ICUs in the UK over a six-year period.

In their study, researchers found that predicted hospital mortality decreased from almost 30% to 21% for men across the range of heights; in women, it decreased from 24% to 17%.

Overall hospital mortality was 22.5% for men and 20.6% for women.

“Short stature may be a risk factor for mortality in critically ill patients,” they wrote.

“Further work is needed to determine which unmeasured patient characteristics and