How long do short people live?

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Page last updated: 23/09/2022

Being tall has many advantages and those who are short encounter various difficulties. But the good news is that being short is not that bad.

In this article we are going to answer the question ‘’How long do short people live?’’ We will discuss how height influences life expectancy, as well as other factors such as gender and weight. 

How long do short people live?

Short people (175.3 cm or less) lived an average of 4.95 years longer than those of height over 175.3 cm, while men of height 170.2 cm or less lived 7.46 years longer than those of at least 182.9 cm, according to an article from the National Institute of Health.

The FOXO3 or “longevity gene” has been shown to improve lifespan in animal tests. But it has never before been associated with height variation in humans.

A scientific study, the largest of its kind, involved more than 8,000 elderly Japanese-American men in Hawaii. It conclusively demonstrated the direct relationship between long life and short stature.

What are the effects of the FOXO3 gene?

Among the findings was that this gene provides a smaller body size during early life, but a longer lifespan overall. Short men were also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels. But not only that, they were also less likely to get cancer.

This study made it possible to demonstrate for the first time that short people live longer than tall people. Since body size is related to this gene.

How was the experiment conducted?

The scientists divided the test subjects into two groups, the short and the tall. And they were able to prove that there was a significant difference in the lifespan of each.

The study began in 1965 with a total of 8006 men born between 1900 and 1919 with American-born Japanese ancestry. During the study, lifestyles and health conditions were tracked throughout their lives.

However, there was no clear point at which being taller prevented them from living longer. But it could be noted that medium and small people could live longer. It could only be concluded that the taller you are the shorter your lifespan.

Other studies

There are studies that have related height to human lifespan. But these had smaller sample groups, as well as other variables such as heart pumping efficiency.

A group of researchers published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics a study demonstrating a link between height and venous thromboembolism (the third leading cause of heart attack and stroke). The results showed that a total of 2 million Swedes who were less than 160 centimeters tall were 65 percent less likely to suffer venous thromboembolism than those taller than 188 centimeters.

Several studies have shown that “short” men are more likely to live longer than tall men, surely a fact that you did not know, so if you are short you do not have to worry about it, you would have more health benefits than people who are tall, according to recent research.

How long do short people live?

Do short people live longer than tall people?

About 1200 men in this study managed to live to 90 and 100 years, of which only 250 men remain today. The research was published in the scientific journal Plos One and funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

While it has been proven that short people live longer than tall people, the reality is that height is barely more important than height. The reality is that height is only part of the longevity profile of human beings. This study should not be considered something totally conclusive, since regardless of your height, you should still lead a healthy lifestyle.

How do height and weight affect lifespan?

Genes, hormones and lifestyle are some of the factors that determine longevity, but a study that included almost eight thousand people of both sexes in the Netherlands shows that height and body weight would be determining factors in female life expectancy, more so than in men.

In a follow-up of more than 30 years, researchers from the Department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University observed that taller women and those who maintained a stable and adequate body weight over time are more likely to celebrate their 90th birthday.

In men, the relationship between weight and height was not as decisive, but the level and consistency of physical activity over time was; a factor that also benefits women.

“Physical activity is linked to longer lives in both sexes; it appears that the more time men spend physically active every day, the better their chances of reaching old age. While 60 minutes a day was associated with a better life expectancy for women,” says Lloyd Brandts, one of the authors.

This does not only imply the practice of a sport, but also daily activities such as gardening, walking the dog, walking, climbing stairs or riding a bicycle.

Staying active

Average life expectancy has increased in recent decades globally but has also begun to level off in some developed countries. A trend that, it is suspected, is related to rising levels of obesity and physical inactivity.

To elucidate that suspicion, Brandts and colleagues turned to the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS), which began in 1986 and included more than 120,000 people then aged 55-69 years. Of these, the researchers focused on 7,807 participants who provided detailed information on their weight, height and physical activity – at the start of the study and when they were 20 years old – and monitored them until their death or until they reached the age of 90.

After taking into account factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and educational level, they found that women who were still alive at that age were, on average, taller, weighed less at the start of the study and had maintained a relatively stable weight over time.

By having a healthy and steady weight, one can assume that they are people with a more balanced diet and are at lower risk of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension.

The height factor may be explained because they have a body mass index (ratio of weight to height) with less risk.

Regarding physical activity levels, “men who were more than 90 minutes a day were 39% more likely to reach age 90 than those who were less than 30 minutes a day,” says Brandts.

Each additional 30 minutes of daily physical activity was associated with a 5% increase in their chances of reaching age 90. In women, “there seems to be an optimal threshold: about 60 minutes a day is associated with the best chance of reaching 90,” add the authors, who point out that this study is observational and, therefore, a cause-effect relationship cannot be established.

In any case, the experts agree that the advice to achieve greater longevity is to remain active and at a healthy weight.

Conclusion

In this article we answered the question ‘’How long do short people live?’’ We discussed how height influences life expectancy, as well as other factors such as gender and weight. 

Frequently Asked Question:  How long do short people live?

Do you live longer if you are shorter?

Yes, you live longer if you’re shorter. Shorter people also appear to have longer average lifespans.

What is the average life span of a short person?

Men of height 175.3 cm or less lived an average of 4.95 years longer than those of height over 175.3 cm.

References

Samaras, T. T., & Storms, L. H. (1992). Impact of height and weight on life span. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 70(2), 259–267.

Whelan, C. (2021, February). Evidence That Short People Live Longer: What We Know. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from Healthline website: https://www.healthline.com/health/do-short-people-live-longer

‌Brandts, L., & van den Brandt, P. A. (2019). Body size, non-occupational physical activity and the chance of reaching longevity in men and women: findings from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 73(3), 239–249. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2018-211410