HOW LONG DO SHORT PEOPLE LIVE | February 2024
How Long Do Short People Live?

February 2024

How Long Do Short People Live In February 2024

In this article, we will look at how low long do short people live.

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Scientists have long debated whether height and life span are correlated.

Many studies have investigated how long do short people live. 

The average adult height for men is 5 feet 9 inches, and the average adult height for women is 5 feet 4 inches in the U.K. Some studies have shown there is indeed a link between a shorter height and longevity. 

130 studies containing information on nearly 1.1 million people’s heights were reviewed, alongside their causes of death. Through studying the trends, a potential link was discovered between height and how likely someone is to die from various causes.

How Long Do Short People Live On Average?

The research on ‘how long do short people live’ is ongoing, with some studies claiming longer lifespans.

Negative Correlation

One study found that men who were 5 feet 10 inches or taller lived, on average, for 75 years. In contrast, the same study found that those below 5 feet 2 inches had an average life expectancy of 79 years. 

Further research has also supported a negative correlation between greater height and lifespan; millions of deaths suggest that a short person may actually live longer than a tall person.

Body Mass Index May Determine Lifespan for Short People

BMI may be a factor in studies pertaining to ’how long do short people live’. A study of more than 1 million adults revealed that those with a higher BMI had a lower risk of death.

The reason for this is that BMI provides a more comprehensive overview of health than height does. For example, two people who are the same height but have different weights will have different BMIs.

In adults who are short (under 5 feet 3 inches), the link between BMI and longevity is especially strong. For example, those in this height range had a 32% lower risk of death if they had a high BMI. This suggests that, for short people, being overweight or obese may actually increase lifespan.

However, the findings also propose that carrying excess weight due to a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutritional nutrition may cause health issues, which then negates some of the benefits of being short.

Theories Why Short People May Live Longer

There are several theories as to why, possibly, short people live longer than tall people, despite their BMI.

Growth Hormone IGF-1

Search results have shown that a possible reason why a short person may live longer than a tall person is that short people tend to have lower levels of the growth hormone IGF-1, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Cortisol

Another theory that researchers have explored to try and answer the question ‘on average how long do short people live’, is that short people have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol leading to longer average lifespans.

Growth Hormone

This hormone has been linked with a number of health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease.

Small people, therefore, have less cortisol in their circulatory system compared to tall people and are consequently less likely to suffer from as many health issues contributing to a longer life. 

Nutritional Intake 

Studies conducted to understand why short people live longer have found a possible correlation with food intake. The theory is that by consuming less food, short individuals may help lengthen their lifespans.

"Scientists have long debated whether height and life span are correlated. Many studies have investigated how long do short people live.

Tall People and Overeating

The average height difference between tall and short people is about six inches. A tall person naturally has larger bones, which in turn means they require more calories each day than shorter people to maintain their bodily functions.

Because of this, they tend to eat too much and become obese—which then increases their chances of developing health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

Dwarfism and Reduction in Cancer Rates

People with a genetic mutation that leads to dwarfism also have a reduced chance of developing cancer. 

Tall People and Overeating

One theory is that this is because they have fewer cells in their body than average-sized people and so less height related issues.

Cancer

With their bigger bones and larger internal organs, tall person on average requires a larger daily caloric intake for optimal functioning.

In addition, because they have bigger organs, there is a greater chance that a cell in the organ will become cancerous. 

Shorter Bodies

Another theory looking at how long do short people live is that shorter bodies have fewer cells. 

A tall person can have upwards of trillions of more cells than short people, allowing for more exposure and impact to cells from carcinogens.

Cell Repair

One theory is that tall people have more cells compared to cell numbers in a short person, meaning more cell replications. 

As people get older, cells may eventually stop repairing tissues and organ damage occurs in taller people leading to a reduction in health. Whereas less cells may influence how long short people live positively. 

The Longevity Gene – FOXO3

Scientists have revealed that shorter men may live longer than taller men because they are more likely to carry the FOX03 gene that protects them from the effects of ageing.

The so-called longevity gene has been proven to enhance lifespan in animal tests but has never before been linked to variations in height in humans.

The Longevity Gene

Genetic Advantage

Some scientists theorise that people of shorter stature have a genetic advantage

Studies conducted on identical twins showed us that the taller twin is more likely to die at earlier than the shorter twin, suggesting genes may protect those who are shorter from diseases related to mid to late life. 

Do Tall People Live Longer?

Even though some researchers looking at how long short people live have claimed that short people live longer than tall people, this doesn’t mean all tall people will die young.

Studies have also discovered that the chance of premature death was only insignificantly higher for a tall person. This conveys that most tall individuals will still have a long and prosperous life.

Other research has found that taller people often live longer than short people. In fact, one study showed that every 2.5 extra inches of height (6.4 cm) corresponded with an increase in lifespan of around one year. 

So, if someone is 5 feet 10 inches tall (1.78 m), they can expect to live three years longer than someone who is only 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m).

Other studies have investigated the question of ‘how long do short people live?’ and found that men who are 5 feet 6 inches or shorter have a life expectancy of 67 years on average, while men who are 6 feet 1 inch or taller can expect to live to age 71.

The Relationship Between Height and Immunity

There are many factors as to why taller people may live longer than shorter people. Several researchers have suggested that taller individuals usually have stronger immune systems because they produce more antibodies than shorter people, on average.

This study adds to the increasing body of evidence linking height and lifespan. While there are multiple theories and more research is needed to understand the possible link between the two and how it affects how people age, these findings ought to be considered when thinking about what contributes to lower death rates. 

Although average lifespan has been studied in relation to height, and there are some findings that suggest taller people lived longer on average, this isn’t always the case.

Additional Contributing Factors to Life Span

Although studies have found that there might be some correlation between height and lifespan, more research needs to be done to confirm these findings. In the meantime, the best thing you can do to increase your lifespan is live healthily.

While height might be one contributing factor to lifespan, it’s certainly not the only one. Lifestyle choices, like smoking and drinking alcohol, can also play a big role in how long someone lives.

Additionally, genetic factors also play a role in lifespan. For instance, people with certain genes tend to live longer than those without them.

Telomeres play a role in how long we live. Telomeres are the protective caps at the end of each chromosome that shorten as we age. The shorter our telomeres are, the more likely we are to die sooner.

A study conducted found that those who are taller generally have longer telomeres than shorter people. This would lead one to believe that the longer length of telomeres favours longer life and plays a role in why taller people may live longer lives.

While there is some evidence linking height and lifespan, it’s important to remember that there are many other factors that can influence how long we live – you can still enjoy a long and healthy life by making good lifestyle choices, looking after one’s health and maintaining a positive outlook.

Positive Lifestyle Choices

There are a few things you can do to help increase your lifespan, regardless of your height. 

  • Quit smoking or vaping
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Get active and exercise regularly
Positive Lifestyle Choices
  • Eat nutrient and antioxidant rich foods
  • Cut down on sugar intake
  • Avoid fast food and processed foods as often as possible
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Develop a strong social support system 
  • Manage stress levels proactively
  • Engage in pleasurable activities that also serve a purpose 
  • Live in an area with cleaner air

Regardless of your height, making positive lifestyle choices is the best way to ensure a long and healthy life. So, don’t worry about your height – focus on the things you can control, and you’ll be just fine!

Article author

Katy Davies

I am a keen reader and writer and have been helping to write and produce the legal content for the site since the launch.   I studied for a law degree at Manchester University and I use that theoretical experience, as well as my practical experience as a solicitor, to help produce legal content which I hope you find helpful.

Outside of work, I love the snow and am a keen snowboarder.  Most winters you will see me trying to get away for long weekends to the slopes in Switzerland or France.

Email – [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Short People Live On Average?

The research on ‘how long do short people live’ is ongoing, with some studies claiming longer lifespans.

Negative Correlation

One study found that men who were 5 feet 10 inches or taller lived, on average, for 75 years. In contrast, the same study found that those below 5 feet 2 inches had an average life expectancy of 79 years.

Growth Hormone IGF-1

Search results have shown that a possible reason why a short person may live longer than a tall person is that short people tend to have lower levels of the growth hormone IGF-1, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Cortisol

Another theory that researchers have explored to try and answer the question ‘on average how long do short people live’, is that short people have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol leading to longer average lifespans.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that this site is no longer under active management. As a result, we cannot assure the accuracy or relevance of the content provided. Visitors should use their discretion and consider the potential for outdated or inaccurate information before relying on any material found here.