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Military men's height can influence depression risk

Posted on Jul 24 2014 | IANS

Washington, July 24 : Both short and tall men in the military are more at risk for depression than their colleagues of average height, a study shows.

Researchers found that men both shorter and taller than average by one standard deviation may be predisposed to higher rates of depressive disorders.

Valery Krupnik from the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, California, and Mariya Cherkasova from University of British Columbia studied the records of 196 men with depression-related diagnoses at a mental health clinic for active duty personnel.

They grouped the patients into three camps based on the severity of their depression.

The researchers had expected shorter soldiers to be more vulnerable to depression because physical prowess is important to young military men.

But they also discovered similar problems in tall personnel and suggested this could be because they cannot live up to their expectations.

"To our knowledge, there are no preventive programmes specifically targeting shorter or taller boys," Krupnik commented.

We believe that such programs implemented in school could be beneficial for them in developing higher resilience to the pressure of low social status based on body height," Cherkasova added.

This study was published in the open access journal SAGE Open.

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