The current normal range for blood pressure does not take into account the variations in the patient’s height. However, several studies aimed at assessing whether height could be a factor influencing the patient’s blood pressure have shown contrary results.

Studies have shown that taller patients usually have a higher blood pressure compared to shorter people. Taller children also tend to have higher blood pressure than shorter children. [4]

There are certain theories that have tried to explain these variations in the blood pressure based on the patient’s height.

The role of baroreceptors

Blood pressure is controlled by baroreceptors that are located in an artery supplying blood to the brain. Assuming that the goal of these baroreceptors is to regulate the blood pressure, then, it would have to have the same extent of perfusion pressure in the brain in an erect patient, when compared to the blood pressure measured using an instrument at the level of the heart.

So, if this is true, then the blood pressure will need to be higher in taller patients as the hydrostatic pressure in the arteries would be lower in the ascending column of the blood vessels with the columns being longer in taller patients.

Let me explain this in simpler terms.

Since the baroreceptors help to regulate blood pressure, their perception of the existing blood pressure should be the same as that at the level of the heart as is recorded using an instrument.

However, the brain is located at a higher level in taller people than the shorter people while they are standing.

Hence the ascending column of the artery through which the blood flows is longer in taller patients.

So, the baroreceptors in the brain of taller people will have to consider the impact of hydrostatic pressure created by the taller column of fluid while regulating the blood pressure.

So, while maintaining a healthy range of blood pressure, the baroreceptors would work differently in taller people as against those in shorter people causing differences in their resting blood pressure readings. 

Hence, it is not surprising that taller people usually have a higher blood pressure than shorter people. [5]

Additionally, the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension may also be influenced by the height of a person in a similar manner. Since taller people are more likely to have a higher blood pressure, they might have a greater risk of developing hypertension. [6]

  1. https://www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/high-blood-pressure
  2. https://biomedres.us/pdfs/BJSTR.MS.ID.001381.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861069/

Author

I am a doctor and working as a research based Medical Writer and Editor for more than 8 years. Passion for writing and an excellent medical background are my strong points. I love to combine my two passions into a profession wherein I can write professional articles in the field of medicine, health, and nutrition.​