Short people might be at a higher risk of having a stroke, based on research into the correlation between childhood height and the cardiovascular condition.

A team of scientists studied more than 300,000 children in Denmark who were born between 1930 and 1989, looking for information about their physical growth and then statistics on strokes within the group once they reached adulthood. About 3 percent of them eventually suffered an ischemic stroke, with the men and women who were shorter at 7, 10 and 13 years old having a higher risk of the medical incident, according to the journal Stroke.

The shorter boys were also at a greater risk of an intracerebral hemorrhage.

Whereas in an ischemic stroke a vessel carrying blood to the brain becomes blocked, cutting off the organ’s oxygen supply, in an intracerebral hemorrhage a blood vessel ruptures, causing blood to spill into the brain.

The height difference that the researchers saw influencing stroke risk was not enormous — the boys and girls were only about 2 inches shorter than the average size for their age.

It’s not necessarily that the genes affecting a person’s height carry a certain risk of stroke; there are factors outside someone’s DNA that influences how tall he or she will be.

“While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress,” the American Heart Association explained. “Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.”

It has been suggested previously that there could be a connection between height and stroke risk. As the scientists point out, when high-income countries see a decrease in strokes and overall mortality, adult height also increases. But this research dives deeper into the concept.

“Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease,” senior study author Jennifer L. Baker said in the AHA statement.