If you’re taller than 6 feet you could be more likely to catch coronavirus - here's why

(Photo: Shutterstock)(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

As scientists continue to learn more about Covid-19, a surprising factor in the likelihood of you catching the virus may have revealed itself - your height.

There have been a number of studies in recent weeks that have concluded those over six feet tall could be more at risk of contracting the disease.

Here's everything you need to know.

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What has research found?

A recent poll of 2,000 people in the UK and US suggested being over six foot tall more than doubles the probability of catching Covid-19 through aerosol transmission.

This has more of an impact on the understanding of how the virus is transmitted, and doesn't necessarily suggest taller people are genetically more susceptible to the disease.

The data suggests 'downward droplet transmission' is not the only transmission mechanism, with taller individuals at higher risk - something that would not be expected if transmission was exclusively through droplets.

Aerosols can accumulate in poorly ventilated areas and are carried by air currents. Droplets, however, are bigger than aerosols and are thought to travel relatively short distances and drop quickly from the air.

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What does the study mean for me?

The study could mean wearing masks may be "just as if not more effective in prevention" as social distancing.

The results - which are yet to be peer reviewed - could have an impact on the understanding of the disease, and influence how social distancing measures and other preventative procedures are planned for.

Professor Evan Kontopantelis, from the University of Manchester, said, “The results of this survey in terms of associations between height and diagnosis suggest downward droplet transmission is not the only transmission mechanism and aerosol transmission is possible.

“Though social distancing is still important because transmission by droplets is still likely to occur, it does suggest that mask wearing may be just as if not more effective in prevention."

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Rolando Gonzales Martinez, researcher of the University of Agder in Norway, said, “Both structural and individual factors must be taken into account when predicting transmission or designing effective public health measures and messages to prevent or contain transmission."

Are men and women affected differently?

While the results from the study would appear to show that tall men are more at risk of contracting the disease than tall women, that's only because so few women were polled.

This means discerning any gender differences in the results cannot be considered reliable.

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