Although the phrase, taller people live longer sounds like a two Ronnie’s sketch some evidence has been found that perhaps there is some truth to this.
It is thought that the height you grow to is determined by both nature and nurture, therefore although genetics will play an important part in how tall you will become as an adult nutrition and external conditions also have an effect.
Originally Scientists thought that as health and diet has improved over the centuries this has then led to taller people living longer. However, recent studies have literally unearthed evidence that taller people have been living longer for centuries.
The Department of Social Medicine, led by Dr David Gunnell, looked at skeletons from a burial site at St Peter’s Church, Barton-on-Humber, in North Lincolnshire. Excavating bones from the 9th century to the 19th, they found that the taller skeletons lived longer.
The team excavated 3,000 sets of remains and of this 490 male and female skeletons were measured and assessed for age at time of death.
The researcher measured the available bones to the nearest millimetre and tested the remains for wear and tear on the teeth and bones to identify an approximate age.
The findings were very interesting as from the bones that were examined the chance of dying after reaching the age of 30 increased as the bone length increased. They examined 123 women and 178 men and found with longer bones died after 30 and 94 women and 124 men died prior to their 30th birthday with shorter bones.
Dr Gunnell said: ‘Recent research has consistently shown a link between taller people and living longer. The reasons are not completely understood, but there are obviously genetic factors involved in height.
‘In today’s population it could be a marker for better nutrition in the womb which could affect adult health. Centuries ago, taller people may have been the richest people –because they were able to get a good diet, they naturally grew taller.’
These are interesting findings but it is probable that diet and lifestyle play an important role both in reaching your full height potential and in living longer however all of us tall people can sleep that little bit easier knowing that we have a good chance of living longer.