Though many cultures value height, there may be good reason to hope that you won't grow tall. Studies based on millions of lives seem to suggest that shorter people tend to outlive their taller counterparts. Not only do they have lower death rates, but they tend to have fewer diet-related chronic diseases. Studies and experiments on animals show similar results.
More about height and lifespans:
- Some studies suggest that the very rare Methuselah gene may be the reason for long life for some people. People with this gene aren't as sensitive to IGF-1, a growth-encouraging hormone. As a result, these people tend to be shorter. They also tend to live longer. Women are even more susceptible to the hormone which may support the reason why there are generally more female centenarians than men.
- Japanese women have the longest lifespan of any group in the world — 86 years, on average. Though Japanese women are not, on average, the shortest in the world (that distinction belongs to Bolivian women who are about 4 feet 2 inches (1.4 meters) tall on average), they are one of the shortest at about 5 feet 2 inches (1.6 meters), on average.
- In general, people are getting taller and living longer: the average height of men today is a few inches taller than two hundred years ago, while their lifespan averages have doubled. Much of this is likely attributable to improvements in public health including access to medical care and healthier diets.
- Studies show that taller people make more money and have higher self-esteem than shorter people.